Sikkim/Darjeeling

Sikkim, a formere Himalayan Kingdom, has been a State of India since it merger in 1975. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is wedged between  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 1000 ft to 27900 ft. The greater Himalayas form a natural boundary with Tibet and the Singalila range with Mt. Khangchendzonga (8545 mtrs), the third highest peak in the world , runs north to south separating Sikkim from Nepal. On th eastern front the Chola range borders with Tibet and the Pangola range further down separate 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.

 

The 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 (11800 ft./ 3600 mtrs) and Lachung (8856 ft./ 2700 mtrs) 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.