Nested peacefully under the mighty laps of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, Sikkim flaunts a heavenly air to its surroundings. Magical mountain peaks, lush valleys, clear flowing rivers, terraced hills and mountains covered with flowers and forests mark impressive vegetation. Boasting about 4,000 different species of plant Life, they pride of growing about 550 different kinds of orchids.
Amidst nature’s treasures, Sikkim also emits a mystical spirituality with no less than 100 monasteries that remain as living proof to its 300 years of existence as a Buddhist kingdom. Buddhist festivals are officially celebrated along with Nepali holidays that represent the largest ethnic group residing in Sikkim. Bhutias and Lepchas respectively follow in population numbers as all three languages are officially recognized by the state.
Known also as the most peaceful state in India, Sikkim was integrated into the twenty-second state of the Indian union in May 1975. Prior to annexation, Sikkim was ruled by the last Sikkimise King Palden Thondup Namgyal who was married to Hope Cooke, an American from New York.
It was a sad demise for the independent country but Sikkim has undoubtedly managed to retain much of its culture and unique identity.
With a population of 50,000 residents, Gangtok is a pleasant town emanating a content lifestyle. Boasting of no beggars in their territory, Gangtok can appeal to any person who visits the main bazaar and walks through this hilly town. With its charming open-air vegetable market and thriving supermarkets, do not fail to notice the town’s only straight flat street, which lasts for half a kilometer.
Though it served as the royal and administrative headquarters of the then Kingdom of Sikkim, Gangtok is a very laidback town that loosens your muscle s while soaking the attitude and energy the place releases.