The Sikkim Himalayans, the epitome of the worlds mountains, famous for its unrivalled scenic brilliance encompasses a wonderland, which for its sheer splendor and magnificence remain unbeaten elsewhere in the globe. For a holiday in the clouds where the mountains are just about impending, Sikkim offers a wonderland of unparalleled beauty. With its frothing rivers, forlorn valleys and lonely dales, the majestic mountain peaks, exhilarating turquoise hued lakes, crystal clear as mirrors, the dense foothills, gapping chasms and starting gorges, and the lush paddy fields, Sikkim is a heaven for all and sundry. Sikkim lies in the eastern Himalayas in the lap of Kangchendzonga, the guardian deity and the third tallest peak in the world. To the north of Sikkim lies the vast area of the Tibetan plateau, to the east is the “forbidden Kingdom” of Bhutan and on its western fringes is the Kingdom of Nepal. The history of Sikkim before the 17th century is not recorded and is a little hazy. In 1642 A.D. Sikkim’s first king was consecrated and was called the “Chogyal” one who rules with righteousness. His direct lineage, the Namgyals ruled this erstwhile kingdom until it became the 22nd state of the Indian union in 1975. The enchanting little state covers an area of 7096 sq km measuring about 110km from North to South and 64km from East to West with elevation ranging from 800 to 28000 ft above sea level. This is what gives Sikkim a vast variety of flora and fauna and makes it a hotbed of bio-diversity. Indeed, Sikkim has 4000 varieties of plants and shrubs. Some 600 to 1000 species of orchids along with a variety of plants and flowers that create a visual delight. The population of Sikkim mainly consists of three ethnic groups namely the Lepches, the first known settlers and the original inhabitants of the land, the Bhutias who trace their ancestry to Tibet and the Nepalese, the largest ethnic community, basically inhabit Sikkim 90% of the population lives in the villages. Conveniently accessible by air, rail and road, the Himalayan Jewel is fast becoming a preferred getaway for tourist from all over.

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