Sikkim, the destination of the most popular tourist hill station in India, is a small state that lies in the eastern region of the Himalaya range. Its culture is unique to its terrain and climate. The state’s name derives from its capital city, which was set up by King Gopaditya or Pawanbika. Possibly an offshoot of Buddhism. The first ruler was likely installed by either Tibetans or Mongolians in 842 AD. We will introduce you to the beautiful Sikkim culture.
This small city named after Red Dragon or Nara located in the East Sikkim district of Sikkim is home to Podrang Monastery. Which was first built during the 15th century AD by King Phuntsong Namgyel(1401-1459) first ruler of the Tibeto-Nepal Kingdom. It was further added to by his four successors after him, thus coming to be known as Namgyel Monastery. The monastery is widening over an area that is second only to Gyeongju in South Korea.
Traversed by the Yumthang River, the city also has a temple complex of palaces, a walled city and many old meeting halls situated on its flanks. It was make by the first king of the Tibeto-Nepal Kingdom, Phuntsong Namgyel in 1401 AD. Which dates back to 1400 BC according to local history.
The area was later inhabit by Tibetans, the Lepchas and Bhutias, but most of its villages were abandon as the Sikkimese turns to pastoralism. With the coming of British rule in 1835, cattle-raising seemed to be a wise choice for its economy. Soon after the independence movement in India found resonance among Sikkimese and in 1950 it evolved into a full-fledged state. Currently, it has an area of 13.8 km² and an estimated 1.2 million people who speak both Khampa and Hindi languages.
The main language spoken is Nepali although Khampa and some Hindi are also spoken at times. Most Sikkimese follow Hinduism, but Muslims and Christians are major minorities.
The climate is relatively dry and cool. The temperature ranges from 2-25 °C during summer and drops to the sub-zero degrees in winter with snow falling sometimes up to two months after the winter season ends. However, the whole year receives little more than 200 mm of rainfall; half of which occurs between June and September, this is when most people are busy with their agricultural works. Most crops cultivated are wheat, barley, rice, maize (corn), sesame and legumes.
The population mostly lives in compact villages made of homes built from wood or bamboo. The houses are constructed close to the fields so the animals are sheltered in winter too.
Places of interest in Sikkim are Chomthuk Pemayangtse, Jiuli, Lake Homi, Silent Valley National Park, Changu Lake, Namchi. Some exotic animals found here are Bengal fox, black bear, leopard cat, blue sheep, sambar deer and wild pig.
Namchi is the northernmost point in India. This tourist town is also known for its beautiful temple. Nearby is Krabi hill at 6010 m above sea level which forms part of the Great Himalayan National Park. The park is the home to the famous leopard cat variety of cats. Surrounding it are many other hill ranges including the famous Khangchendzonga, meaning Tiger’s Neck. The blue sheep can also be seen here.
Panchthar sits on the banks of the Karnali river at an altitude of 3700ft above sea level. This is the place where the ancient Hindu kingdom of Kamarupa was located. It is situated in the far eastern portion of Nepal and was the capital of King Khri-Singha and known as Yup king.
The temple of Hindu god Shiva, Panchthar Darbar is famous for its carvings and paintings of the Makara Festival. A visit to Panchthar Darbar would help you to get a sense of history. Basantapur, located at an altitude of 1790 metres above sea level, houses about 200 Buddhist caves decorated with murals and sculptures. A trip to Panchthar Darbar would help you to get a sense of history.
The place is a huge garden with a small lake, from there you can trek for more than 7 km to reach the temple of God Bhairav. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains on all sides. In the winter months, many people come here to enjoy the snowfall as well as witness snow leopards and other exotic animals that live around this region.
Himalayan Zoological Park or Tiger Hill Zoo at an altitude of 7000ft above sea level, about from Gangtok. This zoo has a collection of more than 40 animal species. Panda, deer, birds and some exotic animals are here. The zoo is on a hillside so trekking up the mountain gives you a chance to see the place first-hand.
The Papuma Wildlife Sanctuary is around Gangtok which is at the base of the hill range of Himalaya where snow leopards, blue sheep and black bears can be observe and spotted easily. Many flights come in and out of Pathankot to reach here. The sanctuary has a large reserve of wildlife including wildlife such as blue sheep, Sambar deer, chital, goral, Nilgai and Himalayan black bear.
The Tiger Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is at an altitude of and is open from November to April. This sanctuary includes the following: The sanctuary has a large reserve of wildlife including wildlife such as blue sheep, Sambar deer, chital, goral, Nilgai and Himalayan black bear.