Sikkim at Glance
Sikkim formerly a sovereign kingdom became the 22nd state of India in 1975. Sikkim is India's smallest state in terms of population and second smallest in area after Goa. It is the land of tranquility, peace and Hidden paradise. A beautyful region, abounding in natural and unpoilt beauty, historical sites, ages old religious shrines and a meltingpot of enthnic cultures and languages, Sikkim is fast becoming the hotspot for both domestic and foreign tourists and it is the most peaceful state of the Indian Union. Sikkim's capital is Gangtok and other major towns are Gayzing, Pelling, Yuksam and Jorethang. The Languages spoken are English, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tibettan, Nepali and Hindi. The main source of revenue has been tourism for this small state of India being landlocked on all sides. It shares its border with Bhutan to the east, Nepal to its west, Tibet (China) to the north and Indian mainlands to its south..
The climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the northern parts. Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim, however, enjoy a temperate climate, with the temperatures seldom exceeding 28 °C (82 °F) in summer or dropping below 0 °C (32 °F) in winter. The state enjoys five seasons: winter, summer, spring, and autumn, and a monsoon season between June and September. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around 18 °C (64 °F). Sikkim is one of the few states in India to receive regular snowfall. The snow line is around 6,000 metres (19,600 feet). During the monsoon months, the state is lashed by heavy rains that increase the number of landslides. The state record for the longest period of non-stop rain is eleven days. In the northern region, because of high altitude, temperatures drop below -40 °C in winter. Fog also affects many parts of the state during winter and the monsoons, making transportation extremely perilous.
During few years tourist spots have been developed throughout the state and have been well published in all leading national and international magazines. By placing Tourism in the category of Industry, unlimited opportunities have been opened. The State is encouraging advenure sports, rafting, trekking and rock climbing, it represents the state in ASEAN car rally, mountain bike rally and exhibits para gliding. The state has opened up three mountain peaks for alpine expedition. Currently tourism has provided 15,000+ jobs in Sikkim state. There has been an increase in the revenue earned through tourism. The revenue has reached Rs. 60 - 70 Crores. To support this trend the state and central goverment is spending Rs. 25 corores each year on tourism related projects. After 1995 under the guidance of tourism department 200+ travel agencies have been established and these agencies are regularly trained and made sensitive to environmental issues. More passes are being issued to vehicles going to Nathula Tourist spot.
People of Sikkim
The predominant communities are Lepchas, Bhutias and the Nepalies. In urban areas people of other states also have settled in Sikkim. Marwaris, Biharis, Bengalis, South Indians and Punjabis are mostly engaged in business and goverment services. All the communities speak Nepali fluently though each communities has it's own language. Hindi and English are also spoken fluently. Nepali and English are the official language of Sikkim.