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Lesser Known Facts About Sikkim

Lesser Known Facts About Sikkim

18 December 2023

23 Lesser Known Yet Interesting Facts About Sikkim

Are you thinking about where you should spend your next vacation?


With countless destinations to explore and make lasting memories, discovering an affordable yet remarkable gem can be a challenge. But, don’t worry as your search ends with Sikkim!


Tucked away in the stunning Himalayas, this quaint Indian state unveils incredible hidden gems and scenic wonders, unlike any other place in the world. Beyond its awe-inspiring landscapes and rich biodiversity, Sikkim has it all. 


Moreover, there are many interesting facts about Sikkim including tourist places and geographical peculiarities, that add to its attraction as a destination.


  1. Triple Border Bliss


Nestled in the Himalayas, Sikkim proudly stands as the only Indian state to share its borders with three countries: Nepal, Bhutan, and China. This geographical uniqueness adds a layer of diversity that sets Sikkim apart from other tourist destinations. You can visit Nathula Pass, a popular tourist place in Sikkim, to witness the ethereal border beauty.


  1. Green Revolution Pioneer


Here’s an inspiring fact about Sikkim. The state has embraced sustainability, proudly securing the distinction of being the world's first fully organic state


The entire farmland holds organic certification, a commitment aimed at preserving the environment, its delicate ecosystems, and rich biodiversity, while also promoting healthier living. For health-conscious tourists exploring local markets, every meal becomes a celebration of pesticide-free goodness.


  1. Glacial Wonderland


In the realm of glacial wonders, Sikkim stands out with the highest number of glaciers in India. The awe-inspiring landscapes, adorned with glistening ice formations, create a visual delight for tourists venturing into its high-altitude regions. From the towering Kanchenjunga to the lesser-known glacial zones, Sikkim's icy legacy contributes to the breathtaking beauty of the state's diverse topography.

  1. Lakes at the Top


Sikkim's charm extends to its claim of housing the highest lakes in India. These serene water bodies, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, offer a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts. These popular Sikkim tourist places, especially Gurudongmar Lake, located in the northern reaches of Sikkim, captivate with its frozen beauty, offering a unique experience amidst towering peaks.


  1. Political Milestone


Here’s another interesting fact about Sikkim. This northeastern gem holds a notable record as the state with the longest-serving Chief Minister. This persistent political stability, illustrated by Pawan Kumar Chamling's record tenure of 24 years and 165 days, has considerably contributed to the state's overall development, making it a noteworthy element in the Indian political landscape.


  1. Spotless Sikkim


Sikkim has also earned recognition for its impeccable cleanliness, securing the title of India's cleanest state. This dedication to preserving its pristine beauty establishes Sikkim as a rejuvenating destination, particularly appealing to tourists in search of an unspoiled natural environment. 


  1. The Essence of Serenity


In addition to its geographical uniqueness, Sikkim stands out as the least populous state in India and is also the second smallest, with Goa claiming the first spot. This low population density contributes to the serene and peaceful ambience enveloping visitors as they explore its picturesque landscapes. 


The scarcity of people makes many Sikkim tourist places an ideal getaway for those seeking a calm destination.


  1. Pioneering Sanitation


Sikkim achieved the remarkable feat of becoming India's first Open Defecation Free (ODF) state. This commitment to sanitation showcases the state's dedication to both environmental and public health, setting a commendable example for the nation.


  1. Majestic Mountains


Home to the awe-inspiring Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world at 8,586 m, Sikkim's towering peaks create a breathtaking backdrop. The proximity to this natural wonder adds an unparalleled charm that distinguishes Sikkim as a must-visit destination.


  1.  Time Bends in Sikkim


Another fascinating fact - Sikkim operates in its own time zone, leading Indian Standard Time (IST) by 30 minutes. This subtle time difference adds a distinctive touch to your Sikkim journey. Before you venture into the popular tourist places in Sikkim, synchronize your watches and immerse yourself in the unhurried pace of this extraordinary destination.


Also Read: Things to do in Sikkim


  1. Zero Village - Beyond Ordinary Names


Nestled near the Chinese border, Sikkim boasts a village with an intriguing name—Zero. Far from lacking significance, it marks the strategic starting point of the renowned Dzongri trek. Explore this extraordinary village, where every step unravels a journey into the Himalayan wilderness.


  1. Cardamom Capital - A Fragrant Legacy


Sikkim is more than just a visual treat; it offers a full sensory experience. It is India's largest producer of cardamom, which thrives in the state's infusing the air with a delightful aroma. Apart from its aromatic charm, cardamom stands as a significant income source for the people of Sikkim. 


Plus, Sikkim has been honoured with the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the "Sikkim Large Cardamom."


  1. Tsomgo Lake - A Shapeshifting Wonder


One of the most popular places to visit in Sikkim, Tsomgo Lake, also recognized as Changu Lake, amazes with its ever-changing nature. Positioned at an elevation of 12,310 feet, the lake undergoes a transformation of colours with the seasons, exhibiting turquoise hues in summer and freezing into brilliant blue in winter. 


Located near Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake is a mesmerizing spectacle that harmonizes with the rhythms of nature.


  1. Sikkim's Evolution - From Sovereignty to Statehood


Unfolding a fascinating chapter in Sikkim's history, the state transitioned from a monarchy to a vital part of the Indian Union. In 1975, after 28 years of Indian independence, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the country. This pivotal moment marked a significant shift in the state's political landscape, solidifying its connection with the nation.


  1. Sikkim's Cultural Diversity - Embracing Nepali Roots


Here is one of the most intriguing facts about Sikkim. It distinguishes itself as the only Indian state where the majority of its residents trace their origins to a neighbouring country—Nepal. Before its statehood in 1975, Sikkim existed as an independent nation, and since then, it has welcomed a significant influx of people from Nepal, creating a harmonious melting pot of diverse cultures.


  1. Sikkim's Super Spicy Pepper - Dalle Khorsani's GI Glory


Sikkim isn't just renowned for its breathtaking views; it's also the home of one of the world's spiciest chillies—the renowned "Dalle Khorsani." Recently bestowed with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, it's like an official seal declaring, "This chilli is distinctly Sikkim's!" Translated from Nepali as 'round chillies,' locals here cherish using it in their cuisine and pickles.


  1. Sikkim's Botanical Extravaganza


Nature reveals a fascinating fact about Sikkim: a vivid celebration of flora! Consider witnessing 600 orchid variants, 240 tree and fern species, and a breathtaking collection of 150 gladioli varieties and 46 lovely rhododendron species.


  1. Sikkim's Forest Conservation Triumph


Amidst the splendour of the Himalayas, Sikkim is proud to be India's only state that has increased its forest cover. Sikkim demonstrates a laudable commitment to preserving its natural heritage, thanks to widespread knowledge and an eco-friendly strategy. The lush green canopy not only adds to the state's picturesque beauty but also demonstrates Sikkim's environmental leadership. 


You can witness the vibrant greenery of Sikkim by exploring key tourist places in Sikkim, including Kabi Longstok and Dzongri, where the lush landscapes unfold in all their natural splendour.


  1. Sikkim's Eco-Win


Another interesting fact about Sikkim you might be surprised to know! With two notable judgements, Sikkim is pushing environmentally friendly activities. To begin, they have banned bottled drinking water in government offices and events, saying goodbye to plastic bottles. 


Plus, the use of Styrofoam and thermocol plates and silverware is now prohibited throughout the state, making Sikkim the first Indian state to do so!


  1. Sikkim's Botanical Jewel - Rhododendron Niveum


The star among Sikkim's trees, the Rhododendron Niveum, is rightfully designated as the state tree. Sikkim, with its hills decorated with brilliant blooms, is nothing short of a real-life fairy tale. 


This large evergreen shrub or tree can grow up to 6m tall and has white-felted stems and dark green leaves up to 15cm long. You can witness this natural bliss firsthand at Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, nestled on the Nepalese border in West Sikkim.


  1. Sikkim's Aerial Symphony of Birds and Butterflies


In Sikkim, nature unfolds its grand spectacle, treating spectators to a mesmerizing performance by birds and butterflies. With an impressive count of over 552 bird species, including the dazzling Himalayan Monal, birdwatchers are in for a delightful spectacle. 


Also, butterfly enthusiasts can revel in the fluttering delight, as Sikkim hosts approximately 690 species of these colourful winged wonders. Prime birding sites like Pelling & Pemayangtse Monastery, and Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary are the perfect Sikkim tourist places to experience this natural spectacle.


  1.  Sikkim's Furry Celebrity - The Red Panda


While the Rhododendron reigns as the star tree, Sikkim boasts a celebrity in the animal kingdom—the Red Panda. No, it's not from the movies, this adorable creature is found amidst the lush forests of Sikkim. 


Designated as Sikkim’s state animal, the Red Panda, with its rust-coloured fur and playful antics, adds an extra dose of charm. As a native species, it stands as a symbol of conservation success in the state, preferring temperate forests with bamboo understories—a habitat thriving in areas like Khangchendzonga National Park. 


Popular east Sikkim tourist spots, like Pangolakha Wildlife and Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuaries, have also recorded sightings of these charming furry creatures.


  1. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple - Guardian Spirit of Sikkim


Amidst the serene landscapes of Sikkim, there's a unique temple that pays homage to a legendary soldier—Baba Harbhajan Singh. This temple, situated near the Nathula Pass, is a testament to the enduring spirit of this brave soul. 


Believed to be guarding the borders even in the afterlife, Baba Harbhajan Singh is revered by the Indian Army, and the temple stands as a tribute to his sacrifice and undying commitment. The uncommon sight of a temple dedicated to a human, particularly a soldier, enhances the significance of this sacred place, making it an intriguing fact about Sikkim.


Plan your Sikkim Tour with Experts!


Sikkim's tranquil scenery, diverse wildlife, and outstanding conservation efforts add to its attraction, making it an ideal tourist destination. Consider this Himalayan jewel as you plan your next adventure—a place that not only delivers spectacular vistas but also unveils the hidden gems that make it truly extraordinary. 


Do you wish to explore all the tourist spots in Sikkim even on a tight budget? Book Holidays Crowd’s Sikkim Tour Package for 7 days at affordable rates and begin your journey without a hassle!

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