Sikkim (Tourism in Eastern Himalaya)

The thumb-shaped state is characterized by wholly mountainous terrain. Almost the entire state is hilly, with an elevation ranging from 280 metres (920 ft) to 8,585 metres (28,000 ft). The summit of the Kangchenjunga is the highest point which falls on the border between Sikkim and Nepal. For the most part, the land is unfit for agriculture because of the precipitous and rocky slopes. However, certain hill slopes have been converted into farm lands using terrace farming techniques. Numerous snow-fed streams in Sikkim have carved out river valleys in the west and south of the state. These streams combine into the Teesta and its tributary, the Rangeet. The Teesta, described as the"lifeline of Sikkim".

 

East Sikkim:

East Sikkim  is one of the four administrative districts of the Indian state of Sikkim. Geographically, East Sikkim occupies the south-east corner of the state. The capital of East Sikkim is Gangtok, which is also the state capital. It is the hub of all administrative activity in the state. The civilian region is administered by a district collector, appointed by the Union Government and the military area by a Major General. As of 2011 it is the most populous of the four districts of Sikkim.

History:

East Sikkim was part of the kingdom of Sikkim for most of its history. In the 19th century, the district was under the rule of the Bhutanese. After the Anglo Bhutan war, the territory was virtually under the command of the British forces. After India's independence in 1947, the area was part of the kingdom of Sikkim under the protection of India. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Nathula Pass witnessed a few skirmishes between India and China. In 1975, the Sikkim formally became part of the Indian Union as India's 22nd state.

Geography:

The district occupies an area of 964 km2. Military-wise, the district is a very sensitive area with the Indian army having control over most areas east of Gangtok and near its borders with People's Republic of China and Bhutan. Visitors to this region are restricted and just a few areas are open to tourists in the areas east of Gangtok. Popular tourist locales are the Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir and the Nathu La pass. The pass formed the offshoot of the ancient Silk Road which connected Lhasa to India. The pass and Baba Mandir are open to Indian nationals only. To enter this region a special permit is required; the Inner Line Permit has to be obtained one day prior to departure. This permit is made through local tourist offices. Other tourist areas include Gangtok and the famous Phodong Monastery north of Gangtok and the internationally famous Rumtek Monastery.

Flora and Fauna:

East Sikkim district is home to three wildlife sanctuaries: Barsey Rhododendron, Fambong Lho, and Kyongnosla Alpine.

North Sikkim:

North Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its district headquarters is Mangan. It is the seventh least populous district in the country (out of 640).

Geography:

The district is the largest of the four districts of Sikkim. The landscape is mountainous with dense vegetation all the way up to the alpine altitude before thinning out to desert scrub towards the Northern Tundra. Numerous waterfalls astride the main road make the trip to this district extremely picturesque. The most prominent effect of the steepness of the valleys is the prevalence of landslides that at times drop to anything between 3000 to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) carrying devastation along their course. Most of them are caused either by the melting snow beds on top of the mountains or by erosive action of the rains. Most of the people of the state reside near Mangan, the district headquarters which is about 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. Further north the elevation increases with the vegetation turning from temperate to alpine to tundra. Temperatures range from about 25° to below -40° in the extreme high reaches where the altitude is in excess of 6,000 meters. Kanchenjanga is the highest peak at over 8,000 m, straddling its eastern border with Nepal and can be seen clearly from the town of Singhik.

Flora and Fauna:

North Sikkim is home to the Red Panda (Ailurus Fulgens), a vulnerable species. This animal is the pride of Sikkim and is also the State Animal. It is generally found between heights of 2000 m to 4000 m. It is as big as a domestic. Siamese cat (approximately 2 ft long), has a triangular shaped face with a stripe on its cheek, with red fur and black eyes. It has a sprinkling of white on its back and chest. The tail is bushy, black or brown in color and long like that of a skunk. They generally live on treetops. In 1977 North Sikkim district became home to Khangchendzonga National Park, which has an area of 1,784 km2 (688.8 sq mi). It shares the park with West Sikkim district. It is also home to the Shingba (Rhododendron) Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 1984 and has an area of 43 km2 (16.6 sq mi).

Tourism:

Tourism Most of North Sikkim is restricted to travelers and permits are needed to visit these areas. The area, which shares a sensitive border with the People’s Republic of China, is heavily patrolled by the Indian army. However, in view of exquisite scenic beauty, a large number of tourists have started visiting the region overcoming all sorts of hardship. Often unregulated tourism becomes a major conservation issue in fragile ecosystem such as high mountains.

South Sikkim

South Sikkim  is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its head quarter is Namchi

Geography:

South Sikkim lies at an altitude of 400 to 2000 metres and hence enjoys a temperate climate for most of the year. Major urban centres include Namchi, Ravangla, Jorethang Bazaar and Melli. National protected are Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary.

Economy:

It is the most industrialised district in the state, owing to the availability of flat land. Since the geology is stable the roads are in a good condition as compared to other parts of the state which suffer from landslides. The district is also famous for its Sikkim Tea, which is grown near Namchi.

Flora & Fauna:

In 1987 South Sikkim district became home to the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, which has an area of 35 km2

West Sikkim:

West Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its capital is Geyzing, also known as Gyalshing. The district is a favourite with trekkers due to the high elevations. Other important towns include Pelling and Jorethang.

History:

West Sikkim has the ancient capital of the state Yuksom. It served as the capital beginning in 1642 for almost 50 years until it was shifted to Rabtense. The district was under the occupation of the Nepalese for many decades in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After the Gorkha War, the district was returned to Sikkim.

Geography:

West Sikkim is 1166 square kilometers. Attractions include the Khecheoperi lake which as legend has it, not a leaf is allowed to fall on the surface of the lake and the Dubdi Monastery, the first monastery of the state. Khangchendzonga National Park

Flora & Fauna:

The district has a wide variety of fauna and flora to offer. Since most of the district is hilly it enjoysa temperate 

Climate:

Above 3,800 m (12,000 ft) the slopes are full of rhododendron forests. In 1977 West Sikkim district became home to Khangchendzonga National Park, which has an area of 1,784 km2 (688.8 sq mi). It shares the park with North Sikkim district.

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