an erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom, has been a State of India since
its merger in 1975. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is wedged
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 kms from north to south and 64 kms from east to west.
The elevation varies between 300 mts to 8500 mts.
Himalayas form a natural boundary with Tibet and the Singalila
range with Mt. Khangchendzonga (8545 mts), the third
highest peak in the world, running north to south separating
Sikkim from Nepal. On the eastern front, the Chola range borders
Tibet and the Pangola range further down separates Sikkim from
Bhutan. Finally, the vast plains of Bengal open out in the south
to form a horseshoe picture of the high ranges bordering Sikkim.
two major rivers, Teesta and Rangit, flow from north to south
creating deep gorges which divide Sikkim into three longitudinal
strips. The valleys in the north are wider at Yumthang (3600
and Lachung (2700 mts) which are easily accessible by road. These
Rhododendron areas deep in the northern mountains are inhabited
by Lachungpas, who have preserved and maintained their unique
culture and a society governed by a traditional village council
- "Dzomsa". The Teesta and Rangit rivers also offer
the thrill of riding the wild water and angling for some local
variety of fish.