Shrouded In Heavy Mist, the guardian deity Kangchenjunga both protects and
terrifies the inhabitants of the magical kingdom of Sikkim . An
awe-inspiring mass of rock clothed in dazzling white snow, this Himalayan
giant in the world's third highest peak at 8,590m (28,199ft). The name
itself means 'House of Five Treasures' represented by its five soaring
summits. These treasures are the gold lacquered on it by the rising and
setting sun, the silver from its mantle of virgin snow, and the jewels of
the scriptures containing the teachings of the Gods and enlightened
Omnipresent and mystical , Kanchenjunga finally yields to nature's
power and sheds ite monsoon veil in Autumn. Sikkim's inhabitants
celebrate this re-awakening with great pomp and ceremony during the Pang
Lhabsol Festival. It then becomes easy to believe the myth that a great God
created, from beneath the slopes of this sacred mountain, the original man
and women from whom all Sikkimese are descended.
A former kingdom , Sikkim is now the 22nd State of India . It
is rooted to the Himalayan Massif like a scale on the neck of a Dragon. The
various ethnic groups have their own nomenclature - the Nepalese call it "Sukhim"
or "New Home", to the Tibetans it is known as "Denzong"
or "the Valley of Rice", and to the Lepchas, Sikkim's
original inhabitants , it means "Nye-Mal-Ale" or "Heaven".
The state's 64-km width is squeezed between the mountainous kingdoms
of Bhutan and Nepal to the east and west respectively. The high plateau of
China's province of tibet lies 40-km to the north and India's
Bengal state to the south. Within Sikkim's 113-km north - south
delineation the altitude rises steeply from 253m to 8,595 (800 ft to 28,199
ft) and encompass allmost all the climatic zones found on earth.
Sikkim is divided into four districts - East, West, North and South. The
most populated area is the eastern district which contains the capital town
Gangtok, followed by the southern and western districts , and finally the
sparsely populated northern area with its inhospital climate and steep
Climate Of Sikkim
The climate varies with elevation and ranges from
tropical in the low valley bottoms to Arctic-like conditions of perpetual
snow and ice in the higher reaches. The annual rainfall varies from 50-200
inches, mostly during May-October months, and snow in the upper levels often
accumulates to a thickness of 30m. The best time to visit this state is
during the months of March to late May and from October to December.
life is centred around Gangtok. Its Buddhist past is the root of its appeal
for visitors, and remains evident at the impressive Institute of Tibetology,
the Enchey Monastery, Pemayengtse and the marvellous Rumtek Monastery not
far away, the last a thriving centre of Mahayana Buddhism. Sikkim's pride,
the orchid, is nurtured at the Orchid Sanctuary and other sites in and
population of Sikkim is divided into three distinct ethnic groups - Lepchas,
Bhutias and Nepalese - each adding their unique cultural colour. Out of
these, the Nepalese form three-quarters of the population. There are also
small groups of Indians from various parts of the country including a
community of Muslims and a handful of Tibetan refugees. Despite the
diversity, the Sikkimese people live in peace and harmony.
The state's cultural life is related to Tibetan religious and aesthetic
traditions. The cultural climax of the year comes with the 2-day
Phanglhapsol festival, when masked dances are performed in honour of
Kanchenjunga, presiding deity and the mountain. There are also many secular
folk dances. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has one of the largest
collection of Tibetan books in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries are
repositories of artistic treasures, including wall paintings, Tankas or
Thangkas, and bronze images.
offers a holiday that is more like a voyage of adventure and discovery. When
the misty rain wraps the slopes in lacy wisps of clouds, you will find
yourself trekking at 14,000 ft or more. If you are more enthusiastic about
the thrills of untamed waters, then go for some Rafting or Kayaking
experience in Teesta River. And as the mountain scopes of Eastern Himalayas
are so luring, how about having a mountaineering expedition and conquering
those virgin peaks, which are craving to be explored! The ones looking for
safari trips check out the Yak Safari's that is an unforgettable experience