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Facts about Sikkim

Area 7,096 sq km
Capital Gangtok
Population 5,40,493
Principal Languages Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali

History and Geography: The early history of Sikkim starts in the 13th century with the signing of a blood-brotherhood treaty between the Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim. This follows the historical visit of three revered Lamas to Yuksam in 1641 in West Sikkim where they consecrated Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation descendent of Khye-Humsa as the first Chogyal of Sikkim, thus heralding the beginning of the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim. With the march of history, events in Sikkim saw the State pass through the process of democratisation blessed Sikkim enroute to Tibet. Sikkim is a blessed land where people from all communities live in harmony. Inspite of the fact that Sikkim comprises different people and multi ehtnic society, it is perhaps the most peaceful State of the Indian Union to promote communal harmony and human relations, a feat which is much expected in a plural society like India.

Sikkim is a small hilly state, bound by vast stretches of Tibetan Plateaux in the North, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet and the Kingdom of Bhutan in the East, the Kingdom of Nepal in the West and Darjeeling (West Bengal) in the South. The State has a total area of 7,09 sq km and is stretched over 112 km from North to South and 64 km from East to West. It lies in the North-Eastern Himalayas between 27 degree 00’46” to 28 degree 07’48” North Latitude and 88 degree 00’58” to 88 degree 55’25” East Longitude.

The world’s third highest mountain, Khangchendzonga, regarded as the guardian deity of Sikkim. Sikkim is one of the 18 biodiversity hotspots in the world. More than 5000 species of angiosperms are found in the State, nearly one third of the total species of angiosperm found in the country. There are 4000 species of flowering plants, 300 species of ferns and allies, 450 to 500 species of orchids, 36 species of Rhododendrons, 40 species of oak, 30 to 40 species of primulas and bamboos, 144 species of mammals, 500 to 600 species of birds, over 400 species of butterflies and moths and many species of reptiles in the State. Rare blue sheep, tibetan mastiff, yaks and red pandas are found here.

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