The history of Sikkim traces back to the 17th century when it was established as the Kingdom of Sikkim by the Namgyal dynasty. Ruled by the Chogyal, Buddhist priest-kings, Sikkim became a princely state of India in 1890. Even after Indian independence, Sikkim maintained its protectorate status with the Union of India and later the Republic of India. It achieved remarkable literacy rates and per capita income compared to other Himalayan states. However, in 1975, following anti-royalist riots and the Indian Army’s intervention, a referendum led to the abolition of the monarchy, and Sikkim officially joined India as its 22nd state.
Modern Sikkim is a vibrant and multicultural state, embracing various ethnicities and languages. The official languages are English, Nepali, Sikkimese, and Lepcha, while additional languages such as Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, and Tamang hold official status for preserving cultural heritage. English is widely used in education and official documents. Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism are the prominent religions practiced in the region. Sikkim’s economy thrives on agriculture and tourism, offering visitors a unique blend of natural splendor and cultural experiences. While it possesses the fifth-smallest GDP among Indian states, Sikkim has also witnessed rapid economic growth.
Sikkim takes pride in its achievements in sustainable development. It accomplished the remarkable feat of transitioning to fully organic agriculture between 2003 and 2016, becoming the first organic state in India. Additionally, Sikkim has implemented environmentally conscious measures, including a ban on plastic water bottles and polystyrene products in government functions and throughout the state, solidifying its reputation as one of India’s most environmentally conscious regions.