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Full nameSikkim
Native name 
Established16 May 1975
GovernorBalmiki Prasad Singh
Chief MinisterPawan Chamling (SDF)
LegislatureUnicameral (32 seats)
Total Area2739.1 sq mi (7096 km2)
Area rank27th
Total Population607688 (28th) (2011)
Density (pop.)auto/km2 (0/sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneIST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 codeIN-SK
HDI(+) 0.684 (medium)
HDI rank7th (2005)
Literacy76.6% (7th)
Official languagesNepali (lingua franca), Bhutia, Lepcha (since 1977), Limbu (since 1981), Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang (since 1995) and Sunwar (since 1996)

     Home | State | Sikkim

Sikkim (Nepali: , i.e. the "Goodly Region", or Shikim, Shikimpati or Sikkim; Lepcha: Mayel Lyang; Limbu: Yuksom, "one of the fortified place"; Standard Tibetan: འབྲས་ལྗོངས་, Bras Ljongs, Denzong or Demojongs) is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. 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.

With around 600,000 permanent residents, Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area, covering approximately 7096 km2 (7096000000 m2). Sikkim is nonetheless geographically diverse due to its location in the Himalayas. The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, is located on Sikkim's border with Nepal. Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity. It also has the only open border between India and China.

Legend has it that the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche visited Sikkim in the 9th century, introduced Buddhism and foretold the era of the monarchy. Indeed, the Namgyal dynasty was established in 1642. Over the next 150 years, the kingdom witnessed frequent raids and territorial losses to Nepalese invaders. It allied itself with the British rulers of India, but was soon annexed by them. Later, Sikkim became a British protectorate, before merging with India following a referendum in 1975.

Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali (which is its lingua franca), Bhutia, Lepcha (since 1977), Limbu (since 1981), Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang (since 1995) and Sunwar (since 1996). English is taught in schools and used in government documents. Sikkim is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepalese majority. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and largest city. Sikkim's economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and the state has the fourth-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing.

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