Small but Beautiful
Nestled tall in the Himalayas bordered by China in north, Bhutan in east and Nepal in eastern frontier, the small state of Sikkim is another name for a land of unmatchedpicturesque beauty. The untouched land of Sikkim is the pearl of the north-eastern region of India. The scenic beauty, picturesque sceneries, exotic natural world and rolling wildlife is a joy forever.
It is said that during 8th century AD, the Buddhist saintPadmasambhava visited Sikkim. He introduced Buddhism and foretold the era of the Sikkimese monarchy. Namgyal dynasty of Sikkim emerged in 1642. The next 150 years seemed to be a unrest due to territorial issues with Nepalese invaders. It came to an end with alliance with British colonial rule in the 19th century.
With a constitutional amendment approved by the President of India, Sikkim became the 22th State of India on May 15, 1975.
Biodiversity of Sikkim:
Out of the 18 ecological hotspots of the worlds, India owns two namely Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas. And Sikkim is identified as one of the hot-spot of the Eastern Himalayas.Diversified range of flora and fauna exhibits the true richness of the region. With a wide variety of plants, ranging from tropical species to temperate, alpine and tundra ones packed in a small region of about 0.2 % of the geographical area of the country.flowering plants, Orchids, Rhododendrons, Conifers, Bamboos, Ferns and Ferns allies, Tree Ferns, Primulas, Oaks, Medicinal Plants are unique to the State of Sikkim.In the lower altitudes of Sikkim, the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests are abandoned by orchids, bananas, figs, sal trees and bamboos etc. In the moderate elevation of about 1500 meters, Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forest is a place of oaks, maples, alders, chestnuts etc. At higher altitudes of above 3500 meters, alpine type vegetation is seen.
You may have a close encounter with the wildlife if delve deeper into the treks. Snow leopard, Himalayan wildlife is graced by the snow leopard, red panda, marbled cat, Asian black bear, musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan marmot, Himalayan serow, Himalayan goral, muntjac, common langur, clouded leopard, leopard cat, dhole,Tibetan wolf, hog badger, binturong, and Himalayan jungle cat.
Sikkim receives regular snowfall giving a heavenly touch. The annual averagetemperature of 18 °C (64 °F) will definitely give you a chilled breath all around. The temperature seldom exceeds 28 °C (82 °F) in summer. You will know the temperatures in the mountains can drop to as low as −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter in Sikkim.
Several numbers of treks through the ridges of Himalayas, lakes and glaciers, wetlands, rivers and streams combines to be heavy loaded package for adventure seeking people and those who are enthusiastic about nature.
How to reach
The nearest airport to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport of West Bengal located at only 124 Kms away from Gangtok, the capital of the State of Sikkim.
Nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri of West Bengal.Both the stations are within 130 kmsfrom Gangtok.
The lifeline of Sikkim is National Highway 31A that connects Gangtok with Siliguri. The unique ride running through the lush green forests along the bank of river Teesta on one side and sky touching mountain ranges of Eastern Himalaya on other side will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the valley.
By Air: The airport located nearest to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport of West Bengal which is only 124 Kms away from Gangtok.
By Rail:New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri are the two rail stations nearest to Sikkim located in West Bengal. NJP is 125 Kms and Siliguri is 114 Kms from Gangtok and is well connected to all the major cities.
By Road: The lifeline of Sikkim, which is National Highway 31A connects gangtok with Siliguri and this picturesque highway runs through the lush green forests along the bank of river Teesta on one side and sky touching mountain ranges of Eastern Himalaya on other side. This unique ride of almost two hours will gives you the opportunity to enjoy the valley carpeted with numerous wild flowers.