Facts about Sikkim
Major cities: Gangtok (capital city), Jorethang, Namchi, Rangpo, Pelling, Lachen, Lachung
How to visit: Sikkim does not have any airports because of its rough terrain. The closest airport, Bagdogra Airport, is near the town of Siliguri, West Bengal. The airport is about 124 km away from Gangtok. A regular helicopter service run by the Sikkim Helicopter Service connects Gangtok to Bagdogra. The closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri which is situated 15 kilometres from Siliguri, National Highway 31A further links Siliguri to Gangtok.
Tourists Attractions: Sikkim has a plethora of attractions including various Monasteries and religious places and visitors can enjoy various activities such as rafting, trekking and paragliding.
Climate: Sikkim’s climate has been divided roughly into the tropical, temperate, and alpine zones; with sub-tropical in the south and tundra in the northern parts. Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim enjoy a temperate climate, with the temperatures seldom exceeding 28 ° in summer or dropping below 0 °C in winter. July is the wettest month in most places.
Culture: Sikkim residents celebrate all major Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dussera, the popular Hindu festivals. Losar, Loosong, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen, Drupka Teshi and Bhumchu are Buddhist festivals that are also celebrated. During the Losar – the Tibetan New Year – most government offices and tourist centres are closed for a week.
Language: Sikkim’s official languages are Nepali, Bhutia, Limbu, Lepcha, Newari, Magar, Tamang, Gurung, Sherpa and Sunwar.
Religion: Predominant religions in Sikkim are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism.
Lesser known facts about Sikkim
The adorably cute animal, Red Panda is the State animal. This endangered species is easy to see in Sikkim
Singshore Bridge near Uttarey in West Sikkim is considered the second highest suspension bridge in Asia.
In the months of February and March visitors can experience healing properties in the Sulphur baths of Sikkim’s natural hot spring offering complete relaxation and rejuvenation.
Sikkim is a paradise with glorious flora and fauna. With the recorded 552 species including the magnificent Himalayan Griffon, the bearded vulture with its wing span of over 10-ft and the elegant Impeyan Pheasant. To add to this, Sikkim records 690 species of butterflies.
Planting season in Sikkim is often marked with certain prayers including the one done during Sakewa, also called Sakela or Ubhyoli by the Kirat Rais.