Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state located in the Himalayan Mountains. The state is bordered by Nepal to the west, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the east. The Indian state of West Bengal lies to the south
Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tamang, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sunwar and English. English is taught in schools and used in government documents.
The state has five seasons: winter, summer, spring, autumn, and a monsoon season between June and September. Sikkim’s climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the north. Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim experience a temperate climate, with temperatures seldom exceeding 28 C in summer. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around 18 C.
Sikkim is one of the few states in India to receive regular snowfall. The snow line ranges from 6,100 metres in the north of the state to 4,900 metres in the south. The tundra-type region in the north is snowbound for four months every year, and the temperature drops below 0 C almost every night.
Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Nathu means “listening ears” and La means “pass” in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.
Rumtek is a famous monastery, all over the world, especially among the Tibetan Buddhists, and is situated near Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Originally called the Dharma Chakra Centre, it includes a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks. The 16th Karmapa built the monastery.
Gurudongmar is a high altitude lake close to Tibet boarder in North Sikkim. It is the land of Yaks, blue ships and other high altitude animals of Sikkim and Tibet. The snow-fed milky water of the lake is one of the major sources of Tista, the most important river in Sikkim and North Bengal.
Hanuman Tok is a Hindu temple complex, which is located in upper reaches of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim. The temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, the Monkey God. The Indian army maintains the temple.
Zemu Glacier is the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalaya. It is about 26 kilometres in length and is located at the base of Kangchenjunga in the Sikkim Himalaya, India. It may be one of the sources for the Teesta River.
The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Pemayangtse, near Pelling in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, located 140 kilometres west of Gangtok.
Khecheopalri Lake, originally known as Kha-Chot-Palri, is a sacred Lake for both Buddhists and Hindus, which is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a unique Tibetan museum located in the picturesque city of Gangtok, resting in the north eastern reaches of the Indian subcontinent, Sikkim. The museum’s foundation stone was laid in the year 1957 by the tenth Dalai Lama, followed by its inauguration by the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, in the year 1958. Ever since its establishment, the museum, built in traditional Tibetan architecture, has tried to facilitate research in ancient Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan culture, religion, art, history and language. The late king of Sikkim Sir Tashi Namgyal, in memory of his son Paljor Namgyal, donated the site on which the institute stands today.