Did you know that Sikkim does not celebrate its Independence Day on 15 August?
Did you know when India became a republic, Sikkim still existed as an independent state?
How did Sikkim become a part of India?
What are some of the little-known facts on Sikkim?
Read on to know more!
Becoming A Part Of India
Sikkim has always been a land of disputes since the 17th century.
Before Indian Independence, Sikkim aligned itself with the British Raj in the 19th century. They have been involved in neighborhood conflicts with Bhutan and Nepal.
Sikkim has always been in conflict for the past three centuries.
Sikkim is ideally a landlocked state. It has Nepal in the West, Bhutan towards its East, India in the south, and China’s Tibet in the north.
Thus, this made the state always an epicenter of conflict. Every ruler wanted to expand their territory into Sikkim.
However, in the early 1800s East India company in alliance with which the state waged a war against Nepal. This war was called the Gurkha war. After the war, peace treaties were signed.
Later, due to the expansion policy of the British, Sikkim got declared a princely state. It was given its own freedom and sovereignty. This remained the same even after Indian independence.
But matters of conflict still persisted in the state.
The native Sikkimese were not very happy with the Nepal migrants and the government. The migrants gradually became the majority in the state. There the government was being ruled by the majority with an increase of the Nepalese population.
This made the natives angry and their sought freedom. Thus, they came to India for aid.
However, in 1975 Indira Indira Gandhi with help of the Indian army took over the control in Gangtok.
Eventually, Sikkim became part of the Union of India. And, monarchy in the country was abolished.
Thus, Sikkim became the 22nd State of India.
Sikkim is a culturally vibrant state, due to its past of having different rulers.
The state’s majority population speaks Nepalese and follows Hinduism.
There has been a myth that Sikkim is a Buddhist state, however, only 28% of the population follows Buddhism.
The state is also home to the majority of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes in the region. It is home to prominent tribal groups like Bhutia, Lepcha, and Limbu who all practice Mahayana Buddhism. This community speaks Tibeto-Burman languages.
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Now, let’s dive into some quick facts about our very own Sikkim!
Quick Facts About Sikkim
1. 11 official languages
India officially has 22 languages listed on the constitution. But, did you know, Sikkim had a sum of 11?
Yes, to be as close as possible to other communities. This makes it become more inclusive of others living in the state.
The languages include Nepalese, Bhotia, Lepcha, and many more.
2. Land of the Highest!
Sikkim is home to some of the highest natural and manmade achievements on the planet.
It has the Khangchendzonga national park, one of the highest national parks across the world.
It also has the world’s third-highest mountain Kanchenjunga.
The Singshore Bridge in Pelling is the second-highest Asia bridge in Sikkim. The bridge is 198m long. The bridge is a window to view the beautiful valley, the magnificent slopes, and to get a glimpse of nature at its rawest.
Sikkim also has the highest literacy rate in India as per the 2011 census. This is much more than the national average and ranks 7 across the nation.
The state’s other feature is that it also has a 130 feet high statue of Buddha in the Buddha park of Ravangla.
If you plan to visit Sikkim you should go and visit this amazing experience first hand.
3. First Truly Organic State of India
The state successfully executed organic farming practices. It was spread across its 75000 hectares of agricultural land in 2015.
The feat was possible by implementing practices and principles given by the National Program for Organic production. It was a 12-year project that started in 2003. The then government of the state declared organic farming as an initiative in the legislative assembly.
The aim of the mission was to create more sustainable and eco-friendly forms of farming and make the world a better place.
This also turned out to be a boon for the tourism industry of Sikkim. So, next time you visit the state, do keep this in mind!
4. Unique Constitutional Leverage
The 22nd Indian state has unique leverage from the constitution. Here the governor is appointed by the president of the country.
The Governor is helped by the council of ministers led by the Chief Minister.
The legislative assembly has a reservation for all the communities including Lepcha and llamas.
The districts also have local headmen who coordinate between the district administrators. This creates a strong bond between the people and a better executive.
5. A Nature Enthusiast’s Dreamland
If you are someone who loves nature and being close to nature is your thing, Sikkim is your dream! It offers you a natural spa, one of its most unique characteristics, and an enhanced experience.
Some of the places are Taram hot spring, Rishi hot spring, Borong hot spring, and many more.
The state is also home to multiple kinds of flora and fauna. It has rich vegetation.
Also, they celebrate their diversity as well. One of them is the International Flower Festival every year that happens from March to May.
In the festival different kinds of flowers, exotic, indigenous and every kind are all put up on display. If you get into it you’ll find the most unique and never seen species of flowers.
Sikkim also has about 700 hundred different species of butterflies and almost 550 different species of birds. You can always consider that every bird you see there, might be of a different species. Maybe, take your journal along!
6. Quirky Perks!
Apart from being a nature’s abode, Sikkim is also a very culturally quirky and distinct place.
Would you believe that they have a temple for a human being?
You must have visited temples of multiple gods, but Sikkim has a temple built for Baba Harbhajan Singh. He was part of the army, and they believe that his spirit still guards the country at the state’s borders.
The state also has a very unique practice called the Bhum Chu ceremony. It is a special holy water ceremony. The ceremony happens in the Tashiding monastery in Sikkim. It is believed that the ceremony has the potential to determine the future!
In the ceremony, the urn containing the holy water is opened. The height of the water will forecast the coming days!
Would you believe if something like this happens to you?
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Every other state in the country has a different story and history on how it became part of our territory. Every state holds something special about its existence. And, these facts about Sikkim do not disappoint us at all.
Did you know all of these facts about Sikkim?
Tell us below, about the next state you want to know about!