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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Sikkim: The Bird’s Paradise

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Surrounded by precipitous mountain walls the state of Sikkim is counted as one of the smallest states in India with an area of 2,740 sq miles. Bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast, Bhutan to the southeast, the Indian state of West Bengal to the south, and Nepal to the west the state is a sovereign political entity to the nation.

The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century. It was in the year 1890 when it became a princely state of British India. However, in the year 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyal’s palace. In 1975, after the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok, a referendum was held that led to the deposition of the monarchy and Sikkim formed as the 22nd state of India.

In modern times, the state is a multiethnic and multilingual Indian state. English, Nepali, Sikkimese, and Lepcha whereas, the other languages include Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, and Tamang for the preservation of culture and tradition in the state.

When it is talked about festivals, the Nepalese majority of the state celebrate all major Hindu festivals, including Tihar (Diwali) and Dashain (Dashera). Besides, the other celebrated traditional festivals are  Maghe Sankranti, Sakela, Chasok Gangnam, and Bhimsen Puja. The Buddhists here celebrate, Losar, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen, Drukpa Teshi, and Bhumchu.

Music is an ingrained part of Sikkimese culture where the main traditional style is Nepali folk music known as Tamang Selo. The style of music in the state varies from traditional Nepali folk music to Westernized pop music. Along with the other Northeastern states, Sikkim is a center for western-style music in India. The youth mostly enjoys and have a craze for Hip-hop, K-pop, and Rap music.

Dance is a way of life in the Northeast. The dances of Sikkim go with traditional musical instruments, chanting, and the dancers carry bright costumes and traditional masks. Some of the most famous dance forms are Rechungma, Gha To Kito, Chi Rmu, Be Yu Mista, Tashi Zaldha, Enchey Chaam, Lu Khangthamo, Gnungmala Gnunghey, and Kagyed Dance.

The Sikkimese cuisine is a blend of Tibetan, Nepali, and Lepcha dishes that come from various ethnic tribes and communities. Sikkimese food is largely based on rice, culinary vegetables from jungle-like Ningro (Fern), Nakima (Wild Lily), Baas ko Tusa (Bamboo-Shoot), Cheuw (Mushrooms), etc and some of the most enjoyed delicacies are Sha Phaley, Thukpa, Bamboo Shoot Curry and many more. The method of preparations of Sikkim cuisine is generally stir fry, boiled, or steamed. The use of spices and herbs is very limited.

The nominal state gross domestic product in the year 2019 was estimated at US$4.6 billion constituting the third-smallest GDP among India’s 28 states. The economy of the state is largely agrarian and is based on terraced farming of rice and the cultivation of crops such as maize, millet, wheat, barley, oranges, tea, and is the largest producer of cardamom. It is due to the hilly terrains and poor transport infrastructure, lacks a large-scale industrial base. However, the installation of the Nathu La pass on 6 July 2006, connecting Lhasa, Tibet, to India, was billed as a boon for economy.

Sikkim exhibits a variety of climatic types, from almost tropical conditions in the south to severe mountain climates in the north. From having one of the most diversified repertoires of flora and fauna in India to holding most picturesque mountain trails, ravines, and verdant valleys the state of Sikkim enthralls and mesmerizes its every visitor.

Also Read: GUWAHATI: KNOW THE BEAUTIFUL PLACES OF THE CITY THROUGH OUR TRAVEL GUIDE

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