Sikkim, tucked away in India`s Northest corner, betwen Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal is, without question a very special part of India, beautiful, unspoilt, green, full of orchids, mountain, butterflies and monasteries, and home to some of the gentlest people you could wish to meet.
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. It is the least populous state in India, and the second-smallest in area after. Sikkim was an independent state ruled by the Namgyal Chogyals (kings), but following administrative problems and the public’s sentiment for union with India, a referendum was held in 1975 in which the people of Sikkim chose union with India. Also in 1975, the referendum brought about an end to the absolute monarchy and ushered in a democratic government within the Constitution of India. The thumb-shaped state borders Nepal in the west, the Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan in the south-east. The Indian state of borders Sikkim to its south. The official languages are English, Bhutia, Nepali, Lepcha, Limbu, and Hindi. The language of almost all written transactions is English. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and largest town.
Despite its tiny size, Sikkim is geographically diverse, owing to its location on the . The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak, is located in the north western part of the state on the boundary with Nepal, and can be seen from most parts of the state. Sikkimhas become one of India’s most visited states, owing to its reputation of cleanliness, scenic beauty and political stability.
Gangtok means, aptly enough,”hill top” and the little capital of Sikkim is perched at 5500 feet high on the ridges of a valley. From Gangtok, you look over the hillside, down and across to terraced fields, with tall, white Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the wind, and endless stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks.
Kalimpong, Nestled in the lush mid ranges of the Himalayas, this hill station of “the Raj”, has an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow capped peaks.
Darjeeling! Mark Twain seems to have visied this Himalayan city and penned down his impression about Darjeeling as the “land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would nit give that away for the shows of the rest of the world combined.” Such is the beautiful land of Darjeeling.
Darjeeling is a town in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of Darjeeling district, in the Shiwalik Hills on the lower range of the Himalaya, at an average elevation of 2,134 m . The name “Darjeeling” is a combination of the Tibetan words Dorje (“thunderbolt”) and ling (“place”), translating to “The land of the thunderbolt.” During the British Raj in India, Darjeeling’s temperate climate led to its development as a hill station (hill town) for British residents to escape the heat of the plains during the summers.
Darjeeling is internationally famous for its tea industry and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tea plantations date back to the mid 19th century as part of a British development of the area. The tea growers of the area developed distinctive hybrids of black tea and fermenting techniques, with many blends considered among the worlds finest. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connecting the town with the plains was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 and is one of the few steam engines still in service in India.
Darjeeling has several British-style public schools, which attract students from many parts of India and neighboring countries. The town, along with neighboring Kalimpong was a major centre for the demand of a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s, though the separatist movement has gradually decreased over the past decade due to the setting up of an autonomous hill council. In the recent years the town’s fragile ecology is threatened by a rising demand for environmental resources, stemming from growing tourist traffic and poorly planned urbanisation.
The sunrise view from top of Tiger Hill and the sight of the effect of colour over the summit of Kanchanjunga is beyond description. The summit of Mt.Everest is visible from here. It is a matter to be experienced once in life. The view of MOUNT KANCHANJUNGA, the third highest mountain in the world, from Darjeeling is the best. A short trek of Sandakphu – Phalut Region takes you to such places where one can enjoy the colour and fragrance of rhododendrons and other wild flowers in full bloom as well as the 180 degree view of the crowned by MOUNT EVEREST(8848 m.) and MOUNT KANCHANJUNGA(8586 m.)