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Sikkim

Sikkim Sikkim became a protectorate of India in 1950 and a state in 1975.

Area : 7,096 sq kms.
Population : 5,40,493. The Lepchas, Bhutias and the Sherpas are the major ethnic groups inhabiting the state.
Language : The local language is Nepali, while English is the official language.
Capital : Gangtok

Location :
Sikkim, India's second smallest state, is located in the northeastern part of the country. Nepal borders it in the west and Bhutan in the east, China lies to the north and northeast, and West Bengal to the south. Because of its location, it has a political and strategic importance.

Physiography :
Sikkim is surrounded on three sides by steep mountain walls. Kanchenjunga, India's highest peak and the world's third highest mountain is in Sikkim. The locals have traditionally viewed the mountain as both a god and the abode of gods.
A number of glaciers descend from Kanchenjunga into Sikkim. The river Teesta is formed from one such glacier.

Economy :
The economy of Sikkim is based on agriculture and animal husbandry. Maize, rice, wheat and barley are produced in terraced fields in the valleys. Beans, ginger, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and tea are also grown. Sikkim is one of the world's main producers of cardamom. About one-third of Sikkim is forested. It also has a rich and varied animal life, including the black bear, panda, numerous species of deer, and the Tibetan antelope.
Copper, lead, zinc, coal, graphite, and limestone are among the minerals found in the state, though not all are commercially exploited.

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