SIKKIM ENDOWED WITH GLACIERS AND FLOWERS
|Population||:||540493 (Provisional Census)|
|Altitude||224 mts to 8590 mts|
|Temperature||:||Summer Max 28 degrees C Min 13 degrees C|
Winter Max 18 degrees C Min 7 degrees C
|Clothing||:||Summer: Light woollens|
Winter: Heavy woollen
|Languages||:||Lepcha, Bhutia, Nepali, English, Hindi, etc|
Mesmerising Land of Glaciers
Sikkim has the unique distinction of being bounded by three sovereign nations, Nepal in the west, Bhutan in the east and China’s Tibet in the north. It also shares its southern border with the state of West Bengal. It has an area of around 7096 sq km and it is about 64 km from east to west and 110 km from north to south. Mt. Kanchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world dominates the landscape of the State and is revered as Sikkim’s guardian deity. The state has a good number of glaciers and some of the very important ones are Zemu, Rathong, Lona in North Sikkim. The river Tista is the lifeline of Sikkim and it originates from Lake Cholamu. Its tributaries are Rangeet, Ramam and Rangpo. Sikkim offers best buys for hand woven carpets, thankas and other paintings. Other items typical of the state and are large cardamoms, Lepcha weave bags, purses, jewellery and liquors etc. The main inhabitants of the state are the Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis. Sikkim lies between 27.5 and 28.1 degrees North latitude and 88.4 and 88.58 degrees East longitude.
Sikkim is endowed with a rich species of flowering plant, including 600 species of orchids. There are magnificent magnolias in the temperate regions and over 40 varieties of rhododendrons in the higher regions. The red panda, the Himalayan black bear, several species of deer, leopard cat, flying squirrels, the blue sheep, the Tibetan wild ass, the bearded vulture and around 600 species of butterflies are found in the State. There are six wildlife sanctuaries and one National Park in the State.
The five sanctuaries are the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Shingbha Rhododendron Sanctuary, Meanam Wildlife Sanctuary, Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and Fambong La Wildlife sanctuary. The only National Park in the state is the Khangchendzonga National Park known as the highest National Park in India