away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sikkim the 22nd state of India came
into existence with effect from 26th April, 1975. It is considered a
Himalayan wonderland with its lovely views and exotic orchids, and its
forest-trails. A virtual Shangrila overlooked by Mt. Kanchenjunga, the
world's third highest peak, Sikkim is attractive equally for the sightseer,
the adventure sports enthusiast and those interested in Buddhism and
Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has
been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose. Sikkim
state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas, is hilly having
varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters.
A Brief History of Sikkim
Sikkim was inhabited in pre-historic times by three tribes namely Naong,
Chang and the Mon. The Lepcha who entered Sikkim sometimes later absorbed
them completely. The origin of Lepchas is shrouded in mistery but it seems
that they belonged to the clan of the Nagas of the Mikir, Garo and Khasia
hills which lie to the south of the Bramaputra valley. Some believe they
came from somewhere on the borders of Tibet and Burma. According to their
own tradition they came to Sikkim from the east in company with Jindaxs, who
went to Nepal and shared their tradition. The Lepchas were a very peace
loving people, deeply religious and shy, which characteristics they still
have retained. They were in fact the children of nature, and worshipped
nature or spirits of nature. These Lepcha lived quite close to the nature by
way of leading sustenance. Some of them practiced shifting cultivation and
raised grains like maize and millets. They led a tribal life at the beck and
call of their tribal leader.
Sikkim is a very small hilly state in the Eastern Himalayas, extending
approximately 114 Kms from north to south and 64Kms from east to west,
surrounded by vast stretches of Tibetan Plateau in the North, Chumbi Valley
of Tibet and the kingdom of Bhutan in the east, Darjeeling district of West
Bengal in the south and the kingdom in Nepal in the west . The state being a
part of inner ranges of the mountains of Himalayaa has no open valley and no
plains but carried elevations ranging from 300 to 8583 mtrs above means sea
level consisting of lower hill, middle and higher hills, alpine zones and
snow bound land, the highest elevation 8583 mtrs. being the top of the Mt.
The climate of the state has been roughly divided into the tropical,
temperature and alpine zones. For most of the period in a year, the climate
is cold and humid as rainfall occurs in each month. The area experience a
heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The rainfall in
north district is comparatively less than of the other districts. The
general trend of decrease in temperature with increase in altitude holds
good every where. Pre-monsoon rain occurs in April-May and monsoon
(south-west) operates normally from the month of May and continues up to
Major adventure sports sites of Sikkim
North Sikkim trekking expedition to Green - Lake
Perhaps the most beautiful of the districts, the north offers an exquisite
experience for the lover of nature and alpine scenery. Yumthang alone is
enough to satiate the most demanding, with it's panoramic valley of flowers.
During springtime the lush meadows abound with delicate wildflowers that
carpet the valley floor in a rich riot of colors. A must-see here are the
hot springs and the vibrant Sikkimese tribal culture and customs.
This trek takes one through Darjeeling , its tea plantation and on to
exciting Goecha-La in Sikkim. Here one traverse at the base of Kanchenjunga.
In this trek one walks through verdant tropical and alpine forests where a
great variety of orchids and Rhododendrons and Primuleas carpet the alpine
terrain. The valleys are warm and one can expect temperatures around 350C
while night temperature drop below 0 C
Yoksum To Dzongri & The Guicha La
If one is in search of adventure, the west is the district to visit. The
west district lives up to its proverbial name as being wild and free as it
is the base from where all treks into the wilds of the majestic Himalayas
begin. Whether it's white water rafting down the frothing waters of the
Teesta and Rangit, or trekking through the beautiful and dense Rhododendron
forests, the west district has it all.
Rafting in Sikkim
River rafting enthusiasts have two rivers the Teesta and Rangit gushing
through paradise country. The Teesta (also spelt as Tista) experience takes
one rafting from Makha down to Sirwani and Sirwani to Rangpo. The Rangit
(also spelt as Rangeet) expedition is from Sikip to Nayabazar to Melli.
Beginners as well as experienced adventurers can seek the assistance of the
Department of Tourism and travel agents for arranging river-rafting trips.
Kayaking in Sikkim
Kayaking is undertaken on the Teesta and is arranged for special groups.
Kayaking is for the more experienced and requires some expertise. Fibreglass
kayaks of international standards are available on hire.
Yak Safari in Sikkim
A Safari With A Difference .Yak Safari is organized from Dzongri onwards by
Sikkim Tourism or organized Sikkim Travel agencies on prior booking. An
Biking in Sikkim
Mountain Biking is another adventure that has been recently introduced in
Sikkim. Most of the roads in Sikkim are negotiable by mountain bikes. This
sport is definitely poised to become popular in Sikkim in the near future.
The sport is being promoted in most parts of North Sikkim & West Sikkim.
For further details please contact - Sikkim Tourism.
Facilities are also available for Mountain Biking and Rock Climbing with
instructors from the Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute in Gangtok.