Lying in the northeast region of India, Sikkim is a little paradise on earth. This mini-state of India has an incredible history of establishment and diversity. Boasting the third highest mountain peak of the world, Kanchenjunga, Sikkim is also abode to alpine meadows, glaciers and vast varieties of wildflowers. With its capital in Gangtok, it shares boundaries with Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal having a reflection of their culture as well. The weather of Sikkim is most pleasant between the months of March and November as it endows the visitors with the blooming and vibrant beauty of nature during that time. Witnessing mighty Himalayan range from Sikkim is a surreal experience that makes this utterly beautiful state, a rivalry to paradise.
Beginning from the 17th century, Chogyals (Namgyal Dynasty) ruled Sikkim for almost 333 years where the first Tibetan lama ruler was Penchu Namgyal in 1642. After the year 1706, a series of conflicts happened between Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan where Sikkim emerged victorious, however, the repercussions of these wars were dreadful as the state lost a section of its boundary. In 1814, the alliance of Sikkim with the East India Company helped the state to regain its territories and finally bought Darjeeling. Soon after the Calcutta Convention of 1890 was signed by Viceroy Lord Lansdowne and Qing China’s Imperial Associate, the boundaries of Sikkim and Tibet got separated. After Independence, relations between New Delhi and Gangtok got redefined by a treaty in 1950.
Thereafter, Sikkim faced internal turmoil in maintaining peace among its people owing to gaping income inequality and feudalism. This led to a series of conflicts between Chogyal rulers themselves. With this, the Chogyal made a new constitution in 1953 and conducted elections in the years 1957, 1960, 1967, and 1970. But, nothing helped and they extended hands to India for the association, and therefore, Sikkim was made a protectorate of India. When Sikkim's people showed a desire for greater association in 1974, India came up with the 35th Constitutional Amendment by giving the title of the associate state to Sikkim with the introduction of Article 2A in the Constitution. But, this exceptional status of Sikkim could not keep them much away from being a part of India. Finally, a referendum (59637 people voted in favour of joining India and 1496 were against it) by Sikkim’s population led to the 36th Constitutional Amendment and Sikkim became a fully-fledged state of India in the year 1975.
The icon of integrity and diversity totally reflects the culture, customs, and traditions of Sikkim. The people of Sikkim indicate a blend of a plethora of tribes, communities, religions, languages, and groups across its boundaries. The urban areas of the state give shelter to many plainsmen who usually adopt government services or some businesses. Original residents of Sikkim grab the name Lepchas, whereas people from Tibetan origin are known as Bhutias. Also, there are a lot of Nepalese people too who migrated to this land during the ancient times. 80 % of the Sikkim population consists of Nepalese where most of them are orthodox Hindus except Tamangs and Sherpas who follow Buddhism. It boasts a calming monastery culture as well. Tashiding Monastery in the western Sikkim area is considered to be the most sacred.
Having control over the central part of the state, the original inhabitants Lepchas earlier followed the bone or mune faith. The community later adapted Buddhism and Christianity and started the worship of good and bad spirits. The Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepalese speak Lepcha, Sikkimese, Nepali languages respectively. This blend of diverse cultures and traditions bring a lot of different festivities and rituals that elevate the vibrancy of Sikkim Tourism even more. Bhumchu Festival is one of the significant festivals of the state.
The food of Sikkim is a blend of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. While reflecting all of these cultures, Sikkim food chiefly encompasses Sinki Soups, Gundruk, Noodles, Thukpas, Cottage cheese, Bamboo shoot, Fermented rice products, Fermented soybean, Tomato pickle and also a lot of other fermented dishes. The state produces an amazing quality of rice and it is also a staple food. Coming to its traditional iconic dish, dumplings and wontons give pleasure to tongues of the visitors. Among non-vegetarian category food, one must savour the taste of fish, pork, and beef here.
Having a cold climate across the whole state, fermented dishes are quite popular among the locals here. The cooking method involves boiling and steaming over frying while keeping spices mild, it adds uniqueness to their dishes. People of Sikkim also give preference to a few drinks including beer, whiskey, and rum to keep themselves warm. Last but not the least, the signature style of Sikkim food is the process of fermentation with which they preserve a plethora of non-seasonal foods while following their ancestral tradition. This tourist destination in India delights the foodies with a wide range served in the food platter. The dishes are akin to many yet are unique and delectable.
The people of Sikkim India are known for their tradition of having a good hand at the manufacturing of several utility objects. With this commendable art and talent, artisans of the region make incredible handicraft objects comprising woolen carpet, choksey table, thankas delineating paintings and also, canvas wall hangings. There is even an Institute of Cottage Industries that was established by the government in order to promote the cottage sector of the state. Especially Melli, Yuksom, Gangtok, Namchi, and Pelling are places that enthrall the hearts of visitors with an array of amazing handloom products that have uniqueness owing to the patterns.
The women of the state are not any step behind than men when it comes to contributing to creativity. The amazing weaving skills of local women also grab the attention of visitors. The thing that is highly popular outside the boundaries of Sikkim is the awe-striking collection of handmade carpets and papers. Lastly, the handicrafts of bamboo and cane products complete the art and craft of Sikkim collection. Artisans of the state are dexterous and hand-craft some of the finest pieces that are not found anywhere else in the world.
The best reflection of natural charm, Sikkim is a beautiful place to visit as it endows the tourists with immense travel opportunities. Here is the list of Tourist Attractions in Sikkim that enthralls the hearts of visitors.
Among all notable Tours to India, Sikkim tourism is the best option to choose as the beauty of nature is at its zenith here. The state has a lot to offer when a visitor genuinely steps on this land.