Introduction


Sikkim an erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom, has been a state of India since it's merger in 1975. It is wedged in between the Kingdoms of Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. With an area of 7,096 sq kms, it has a rectangular shape measuring about 114 km. from the north to South and 64 km. from east to west.

The topography and location of Sikkim manifests in a diverse range of flora, which is tropical in the low-lying areas and alpine in the high reaches of the mountains. The human population throughout history has been very low, which has helped this place to maintain a high percentage of forest cover, evident even now. `A journey to Sikkim necessarily involves awakening the senses and discovering the pristine and mystic beauty of the land. Sikkim is a dreamland that one can realize and enjoy, now that the area is open to all.

The state offers a wide range of adventure sports opportunities as well including mountaineering in the Himalayas. For trekking, one can follow any of the four trek routes: the Monastic Trek, Rhododendron Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek and Coronation Trek. River rafting is possible in the rough waters of the Teesta and the Rangit. Kayaking is arranged on the Teesta only for special groups. Yak safari is arranged from Dzongri onwards. In north and west Sikkim, mountain biking is very popular these days. Jorethang, in west Sikkim, and certain parts of north Sikkim are popular locales for gliding. As per regulations foreigners should be in a group of 4 persons or more for trekking in Sikkim.

Sikkim is bounded by Tibet (China) in the north, West Bengal in the south, Tibet and Bhutan in the east and Nepal in the west. The state is spread below Mount Kanchenjunga (8,534 m), the third highest peak in the world. The locals worship the mountain as a protective deity. The elevation of the state ranges from 300m to over 8,540m above sea level. The nearest airport is Bagdora (120 km. far away from Gangtok, the capital). There are regular flights connected to Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. There are also regular train services to other parts of county.