17 Fascinating Facts About Sikkim

Facts about Sikkim

Sikkim is a picturesque state located in the northeastern part of India. With its breathtaking Himalayan landscapes, cultural diversity, and unique characteristics, Sikkim beckons travelers with promises of natural beauty and captivating experiences. Despite its status as the smallest state in India, Sikkim boasts an abundance of unique attractions and features that captivate the hearts of those who visit.

Here are 17 fascinating facts about Sikkim that might make you crave more to attain the beauty and charm of this unique tourist place.


Facts About Sikkim:

1. A Tranquil Oasis

Sikkim boasts the distinction of being the least populated state in India, with a population of around 658,019 as of 2023 (estimated). This low population density contributes to its serene atmosphere, offering visitors the chance to fully immerse themselves in the tranquil embrace of nature.

2. A Pristine Paradigm of Cleanliness

In 2016, Sikkim earned a prestigious accolade as the “Cleanest State” in India. The recognition came through the “Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2016” initiative. Sikkim’s commitment to cleanliness and sustainability is evident throughout the state, adding to its allure as an eco-friendly haven.

3. A Pioneering Organic Haven

Sikkim proudly holds the title of being the first Indian state to implement organic farming on a large scale. In 2016, it achieved the remarkable feat of becoming a fully organic state. This revolutionary step underscores Sikkim’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and environmental preservation.


4. A Himalayan Jewel: Mt. Kanchenjunga

Reigning as the third-highest mountain peak in the world, the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga proudly stands at an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 feet). Its towering presence not only adds to Sikkim’s awe-inspiring landscapes but also draws adventurers from around the globe seeking to conquer its peaks.

5. Glacial Grandeur

Sikkim boasts an astounding tally of 84 glaciers, making it the region with the highest number of glaciers among all states and union territories in India. These icy giants contribute to the region’s unique climate and play a vital role in sustaining its ecological balance.

The Royal Ruins RABDENTSE West Sikkim
IMage via Wikimedia Commons (Amritendu Mallick)

6. A Legacy of Sovereignty

Sikkim’s history weaves a tale of sovereignty and evolution. Originally a sovereign monarchical state, it later became a protectorate of India before ultimately merging with India and gaining recognition as a state within the country.

7. The Cardamom Capital

Sikkim holds the distinction of being the second-largest producer of cardamom in the world, following only Guatemala. Its lush landscapes provide an ideal environment for cultivating cardamom and ginger, contributing significantly to the region’s agricultural economy.

8. A Pioneer in Sanitation

Remarkably, Sikkim achieved the status of India’s first Open Defecation Free State in 2008, a significant accomplishment that preceded the national Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign by six years. This achievement reflects Sikkim’s commitment to cleanliness and hygiene.

Tso Lhamo Lake

9. A Heavenly Altitude: Tso Lhamo Lake

Tso Lhamo Lake, nestled at a breathtaking elevation of 5,330 meters, claims the title of the highest lake in India. Its crystal-clear waters mirror the heavens, while its location on the plateau extending from Sikkim to Tibet adds to its mystical allure.

10. The Crossroads of Borders

Sikkim holds a unique distinction as the only Indian state sharing international borders with three countries: Bhutan to the east, China to the north, and Nepal to the west. This multicultural convergence contributes to the state’s rich blend of traditions and cultures.

11. Verdant Vistas: Forests of Sikkim

Sikkim boasts an impressive 47.08% forest cover, covering nearly half of its total geographical area. The renowned Khangchendzonga National Park, accounting for about half of the state’s forest cover, is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, underscoring its ecological significance.

Singshore Bridge Pelling Sikkim
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Pankaj.biswas)

12. Bridging Heights: The Singshore Bridge

Sikkim boasts the second-highest bridge in Asia, the Singshore Bridge in Pelling. Stretching 198 meters in length and plunging to a depth of 220 meters, this architectural marvel offers panoramic views of Sikkim’s breathtaking landscapes.

13. Spirits and Libations

With a per capita alcohol consumption rate following only Punjab and Haryana, Sikkim holds the third highest rate among Indian states. This penchant for spirits is a part of the state’s cultural tapestry. Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic drink of Sikkim’s tribal communities.

Glaciers in Sikkim

14. Glaciers Galore

Reiterating its icy prominence, Sikkim lays claim to 84 glaciers, a record-setting number among all states and union territories in India. These frozen wonders contribute to the region’s unique climate and scenic allure.

15. Fire in the Mouth: Dalle Khorsani

Sikkim is home to one of the hottest chilies in the world, known locally as “Dalle Khorsani.” Its fiery intensity recently earned it a Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Union Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade.

16. Orchid Symphony and Botanical Diversity

Sikkim dazzles with its rich biodiversity, housing more than 500 species of orchids, 11 species of oak, 23 varieties of bamboo trees, and over 400 medicinal plants. This ecological treasure trove underscores Sikkim’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage.


17. Tracing the Silk Route

Sikkim’s history is intertwined with the ancient Silk Route, a trade route that connected Lhasa to the port of Tamluk in West Bengal. The old silk route traversed the Chumbi Valley and Nathula Pass in North Sikkim, leaving behind echoes of a vibrant past.

Embracing Sikkim’s Marvels

The captivating blend of culture, nature, and history that defines Sikkim reveals a realm of marvels that goes beyond its mere size. With each fascinating detail, a fragment of Sikkim’s soul is exposed, extending a warm invitation to travelers to delve into its grandeur and revel in its enchanting ambiance. As you immerse yourself in its breathtaking beauty, Sikkim’s irresistible allure leaves an indelible impression on your heart, sparking an insatiable yearning for more of its extraordinary encounters.

Foreigners looking to visit Sikkim are required to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP). More details on how to obtain a Permit have been discussed in our previous article.

(To know more about Sikkim State Tourism check the link here.)

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