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Sikkim


Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas.

Gangtok is the capital and the largest town.

The state borders Nepal to the west, Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China to the north and east, and Bhutan to the southeast. The state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south.

Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area.

The early history of Sikkim starts in the 13th century with the signing of a blood-brotherhood treaty between the Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim. This follows the historical visit of three revered Lamas to Yuksam in 1641 in West Sikkim, where they consecrated Phuntsog Namgyal, a sixth generation descendent of Khye-Humsa as the first Chogyal of Sikkim, thus heralding the beginning of the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim. With the march of history, events in Sikkim saw the state pass through the process of democratisation and became an integral part of the Indian Union in 1975. 

In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) appealed to the Indian Parliament for a change in Sikkim's status so that it could become a state of India. In April, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Chogyal's Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the electorate (in a nation where 59% of the population could vote) voted to join the Indian Union.

On 16 May 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished. To enable incorporation of a new state, the Indian Parliament had to amend the Indian Constitution. First, the 35th Amendment laid down some conditions and made Sikkim an "Associate State," a special designation not used by any other state. Later, the 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and made Sikkim a full state, adding its name to the First Schedule of the Constitution.

Kangchenjunga, (8,586 metres or 28,170 ft), highest peak of India and third-highest on Earth.

Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. The statue in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world, at 36 metres (120 ft).

The Sikkim High Court is the smallest high court in the country.

Sikkim at glance

Area 7,096 sq. km
Population 6,07,688
Capital Gangtok
No. of Districts 4
Main Language Lepcha, Bhutia, Limbu and Nepali
Assembly seats 32
Lok Sabha seats 1
Rajya Sabha seats 1
State Day May 16

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