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Sikkim

As the official announcement of 'Sikkim Paragliding Festival' is being made on September 13, 2012 - as 48 days countdown to PG Fest - Sikkim Tourism takes this opportunity to share 48 facts about Sikkim. To know more about Sikkim - Visit Sikkim Tourism

 

48 facts

you did not know about Sikkim


09

K C Pradhan

KC Pradhan, former Chief Secretary is Sikkim’s most versatile expert on forest resources. He is a recipient of American Rhododendron Society’s highest award – the ARS Gold Medal, followed by the coved Pioneer Achievement Award for 2003 and 2005, ‘in recognition of his leadership and tireless dedication to the advocacy, conservation, and protection of the unique rhododendrons and other alpine floral legacy in Sikkim’. Born in 1935, Mr. Pradhan has also penned his memoir, ‘The Life and Time of a Plantsman in the Sikkim Himalayas’.


10 Danny Denzongpa  

Danny Denzongpa

He is the internationally recognised actor who has during his career acted in over 150 movies in Hindi, English, Bengali and Nepali. »


11 Tarundeep Rai  

Tarundeep rai

Tarundeep Rai is one of India’s most experienced and dependable archers. He made his debut in International Archery at the age of 19 when he participated at the World Outdoor Archery Championship... »


12

International Flower Festival, Sikkim

A rare show of exotic varieties of flowers, orchids and other plants, native to Sikkim, is held every summer from March to May. The tiny state of Sikkim has around 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants. The main displays in the flower show are orchids, gladioli, roses, cacti, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, ferns, herbs, etc.

more info


13

Best State - Clean India 2010-11

Sikkim also bagged the Best State in Campaign Clean India 2010-11 award for the state government’s initiatives in maintaining a clean and green Sikkim, efficient garbage management and disposal, health and hygiene, green mission and maintaining the environment and biodiversity of the state. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has launched the Campaign Clean India and Sikkim was declared the Best State for its efforts in keeping its tourist destination neat and clean and for the overall cleanliness of the state.


14

Tourist Project Award 2010-11

Sikkim bagged the Most Innovative and Unique Tourism Project Award 2010-11 for the vision and implementation in the construction of world class Pilgrimage cum Cultural Tourism Complex (Siddeswara Dham) at Solophok, Namchi in South Sikkim, popularly known as chaar dham. The award was received today by the Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling from the President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at a befitting function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.


15

Languages

Nepali is the lingua franca though English is the State’s official language. The language has received Constitutional recognition in 1992 and is included in the VIIIth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Other languages spoken limitedly are Lepcha. Limboo, Bhutia, Mangar, Rai, Tamang, Sherpa, Gurung and Newari; all these nine languages are recognized as State languages and some are taught in schools and colleges. Hindi is also widely spoken.


16

Climate

Sikkim’s climate has been divided roughly into the tropical, temperate and alpine zones. Given this variation in altitudes there are variations in temperature as well. The State receives an annual Rainfall of 2000mm to 4000mm. The pre-monsoon rain occurs in April-May and the monsoon occurs normally from the month of May and continues up to September. July is the wettest month in most places. Fine weather persists in places below 3000m from March to May and from September to November.


17

Geography

Sikkim lies within a geographical area of 7096 sq km and is situated between 880 00’ 58” and 880 55’ 25” East longitudes and 270 00’ 46" and 280 07’ 48” North latitudes. It has Tibet to the North and north-east, Bhutan and Bengal to the south and south-east, Nepal to the west and in the north lies the Himalayas with Mt Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. The Singalila range etches Sikkim’s western borderlines with Nepal and the Chola range defines its eastern border. The Dongkia range runs along the borders from the north to the northeast. Teesta & Rangeet, which originates from Tso Lahmo, Zemu Glacier and Rathong Glacier, are the two major rivers of the State.


18

Nathu-La

Located at14, 400-ft, Nathu-La, about 52 –m from Gangtok, links India with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Several items from old silk route, reopened amidst much fanfare on July 6, 2006 after a closure of 44 years is today a brisk import-export zone.

Nearby is Baba Harbhajan Mandir, a temple dedicated to Harbhajan Singh, a sepoy in the 23rd Punjab Regiment who disappeared on border patrol in the 1960s. There were claims of his presence at the border for several years after he went missing.


19

Rumtek Monastery

Seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage, demonstrates the best of Tibetan architecture and is an almost replica of Tsurphu monastery. It houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious art objects, the priceless Black Hat (Vajra Mukut) studded with rubies, diamonds, gold and other precious stone, etc,. The Vajra Mukut was presented to the fifth Karmapa by Emperor Yung Lo of China in the fifteenth century.


20

Thangka painting

is a unique Sikkimese art. Elaborately hand painted religious scrolls in brilliant colours drawn on fabric is not a mere decorative piece but a powerful aid to tantric meditation. Consecrated thangkas, when displayed in house shrines, entrance, etc, functions in bringing auspiciousness, peace or drive away evils, depending on the deity painted on the scrolls. Decorative scrolls aren’t consecrated.


21

Chhang or Jaanr

a fermented cereal-based mild alcoholic beverage is undoubtedly Sikkim’s famed drink. It has not only a strong ritual importance among the tribes but social activities also require provision and consumption of appreciable amount of alcoholic beverage. It is served in a cylindrical wooden or bamboo vessel called tongba, with a bowl-like saucer placed below. Little amount of warm water is added in the vessel, to be sipped after 10-15 minutes with a thin bamboo straw called pipsing, which also bears a hole on its lower end to avoid passing of grits. The potent stuff can give the drinker a mild kick.


22

Pang Lhabsol

A thanksgiving prayer festival in honour of the protecting deities, including Dzonga, a personification of Mt Khangchendzonga, considered the guardian deity of Sikkim. Pangtoed Chaam, a ceremonial warrior dance, choreographed by the third king of Sikkim, Chogyal Chador Namgyal is also performed. The day also celebrates and reiterates the oath of blood brotherhood sworn between the Lepcha and Bhutia chiefs in the fourteenth century at Kabi Longtsok.


23

Sakewa

Planting season in Sikkim is often marked with certain prayers including the one done during Sakewa, also called Sakela or Ubhyoli by the Kirat Rais. It is a way of appeasing and paying homage to Mother Earth through rituals and Silis or dance. Nakchhongs (priests) perform the rituals with the help of Mangpas (chief priest) in an open place and usually lasts for nine days.


24

Lashar Valley and Muguthang

in extreme North Sikkim comes alive in July-August when Drukpa Tseshi (a day when Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to his five disciples) is celebrated as their summer festival. On this day, peaks, considered as local deities are propitiated and yak races are held among the localx, mostly Lachenpas and the Dokpa, nomadic tribe engaged in yak rearing.


25

Kamsel

Every three years, the personnel effects of Lhabtusn Chenpo, the main propagator of Buddhism to Sikkim and other artefacts collected by him and preserved at Tolung Monastery in Dzongu, North Sikkim are aired and sunned, in a ceremony called Kamsel.


26

553 Bird species

For the bird lovers, Sikkim is a paradise; what with the recorded 552 species including the magnificent Himalayan Griffon or the bearded vulture with its wing span of over 10-ft and the elegant Impeyan Pheasant with its flamboyant electric-blue plumage. To add to this, Sikkim records 690 species of butterflies.


27

Sulphur baths

Sulphur baths in Sikkim’s natural hotsprings in the months of February and March can feel the healing properties drain away physical and mental aches. Who needs a man-made spa when nature’s bounty is so amazingly rich! There are five hotsprings, the most important being Phur Cha-chu at Reshi, about 12-km from Jorethang.  Other hotsprings are Borong Cha-chu, 7-km from Rabongla, Ralang Cha-chu, one hour trek from Ralang monastery, Yumthang Cha-chu, along the scenic banks of Yumthang Chhu at Yumthang and Taram Cha-chu, about two-hour trek from Taramchu Bridge, on the way to Lachen.


28

Tedong Hill

Above 8000-ft is a flat stretch of land from where splendid views of North Bengal and the majestic Himalayan ranges can be had. According to Lepcha legend, this hill had saved the Lepchas from the ravages of deluge. To thank the mountain God in return, the Lepchas offer ‘Tendong Lho Rum Faat’ every year on August 8. 


29

Sri Siddheshvara Dham

This is a replica of India’s Char Dham in Solophok, Namchi. Here a 108-ft statue of Lord Shiva stands tall, encircled by a girdle of twelve jyotirlingams. Also in the premise if a research centre.


30

Sri Siddheshvara Dham

This is a replica of India’s Char Dham in Solophok, Namchi. Here a 108-ft statue of Lord Shiva stands tall, encircled by a girdle of twelve jyotirlingams. Also in the premise if a research centre.


31

Cave named after French explorer

A cave in extreme North Sikkim is known after French explorer and spiritualist Alexandra David Neel, the same cave under which she is known to undertake meditation under the guidance of monk Gomchen Aphur Yongda from 1914 to 1916. This cave is located just below a cave where Lachen Gomchen Rinpoche is known to meditate – two hours trek from Kalep, near Thangu.


32

Dzumsa

Dzumsa, or a gathering place, is an interesting example of traditional political institution in modern times. It was started in early 19th century to provide consistency for the tribal societies of Lachen and Lachung in North Sikkim. Only the traditional system of nominating office bearers for Dzumsa was replaced with the secret ballot system in 1978-79 and is kept intact within the 73rd Amendment Act. Dzumsa forms a special elected group ‘Lheyna’ or the Panchayat for one year. Lheyna comprises of two Pipons or chiefs, six Gyembos (elders or responsible people who assist the Pipons), two Tsipos (accountants) and two Gyapons (assistants to Pipons).


33

Dzumsa

Dzumsa, or a gathering place, is an interesting example of traditional political institution in modern times. It was started in early 19th century to provide consistency for the tribal societies of Lachen and Lachung in North Sikkim. Only the traditional system of nominating office bearers for Dzumsa was replaced with the secret ballot system in 1978-79 and is kept intact within the 73rd Amendment Act. Dzumsa forms a special elected group ‘Lheyna’ or the Panchayat for one year. Lheyna comprises of two Pipons or chiefs, six Gyembos (elders or responsible people who assist the Pipons), two Tsipos (accountants) and two Gyapons (assistants to Pipons).


34

Kabi Longstok

about 27-km from Gangtok is a sacred grove, where the historical blood brotherhood pact between the Lepcha Patriarch Thekong Tek, his wife Nekung Nyal and Bhutia chieftain Khye Bumsa, keeping Mt Khangchendzonga as its witness, was signed.


35

Labrong Monsatery

Labrang Monastery, overlooking Tumlong Palace Ruins (Sikkim’s third capital) and Phodong Monastery in North Sikkim is known for its unique octagonal architectural feature called ‘Rinchen Surgay’. A research centre cum monastery ‘Karma Thekchenling Donkun Duppai Gatsal Manastery’ in Rabongla, South Sikkim has also been built on the same style.


36

Hee Bermiok

Hee Bermiok in West Sikkim is a special place for someone interested to know Limboo culture and tradition. Here a Limboo priest Teyongsi Sirijunga, the reincarnate of King Srijunga Hang is known to preach Yuma religion and sermons sitting on a ‘secret flat stone’ near the Yuma Samyo Mangkhim. Two hours trek from here is a waterfall and a cave, the opening of which looks like a white box like structure, known to hold Sirijunga’s manuscripts used while preaching.


37 Singshore Bridge  

Singshore bridge

span of 198 mtrs and 220 mtrs in depth, it is considered the second highest suspension bridge... »

38

Sacred caves

In the four directions of Tashiding Monastery are the Four Sacred Caves – Sarchog Bephug in the east, Khandro Sangphug in the south... »

39 Tashiding Monsatery  

Bhum Chu

the annual holy water ceremony that prognosticates the future of the State, takes place in Tashiding monastery... »

40 Baichung Bhutia  

Baichung Bhutia

Owner of 43 individual goals in 109 international appearances, the highest by an Indian footballer... »

41 Dubdi  

Dubdi

Dubdi, a hermit’s cell was built by Lhabtsun Chenpo as his personal celestial chapel... »

42 Enchey Monastery  

Organic tea estates

Take a walk through the green carpeted, only organic tea estates of Sikkim in Temi... »

43 Enchey Monastery  

Enchey Monastery

The Monastery is famous for its Chinese-shaped pagoda roof. It was built in 1909... »

44 Rhododendron niveum  

Rhododendron niveum

Sikkim records 35 species of rhododendrons, of which Rhododendron niveum is its State tree. »

45 Ecclesiastical Department  

Ecclesiastical Department

Sikkim has more than two hundred monasteries, temples, churches, mosques and gurudwaras... »

46 History  

History

Sikkim became a full-fledged 22nd state of the Indian Union on 16th may 1975. »

47 Red Panda  

Red Panda

This endangered species is the State animal of Sikkim. »

48 Kangchenjunga  

Kangchenjunga

Three of the five peaks – main, central, and south of the 3rd highest mountain in the world are on the border of North Sikkim in India. »

 

 

48 fatcs you did not know about sikkim
 
     
   
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