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India Travel Guide

History of Sikkim

Sikkim truly lives upto its name as the Garden of celestial charisma.

Many Hindu texts refer to Sikkim as Indrakil or the Garden of Lord Indra. The Buddhist Saint, Guru Rimpoche is credited to introducing Buddhism to Sikkim in the 9th century.

Guru Tashi, a prince from the Mi-nyak House from the eastern region of Tibet settled down in Chumbi Valley, owing to a divine intervention.

The modern history of Sikkim begins in the 17th century, with the crowing of the fifth generation descendant of Guru Tashi, Phuntsog Namgyal as the first Chogyal or King in West Sikkim. Phuntsog Namgyal along with the three great Lamas who ordained him as the king coerced the Lepcha tribe in the Chumbi Valley to convert to Buddhism thereby annexing the region. This area in present day is the Darjeeling District and parts of Eastern Nepal.

The throne then changed several hands from 1670 to 1793. Sikkim was constantly attacked by neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan during this time. In 1793, Tshudpud Namgyal, ousted the occupation by Nepal with the help of the Chinese. The capital of Sikkim also changed from Yuksom to Rabdentse to finally Tumlong under Tshudpud Namgyal's reign.

Twelve generations of Chogyals ruled over Sikkim for over 300 years.

1972-73 were tumultuous years in History of Sikkim history with anti-royalty riots taking place all over this tiny Himalayan kingdom. India got worried that China would stake its claim saying that Sikkim was a part of Tibet and inturn a part of China. In 1975, the institution of Chogyal was finally abolished and on May 16th, 1975, Sikkim was formally inducted as the 22nd state of India.

 

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Tourist Information - Sikkim
History of Sikkim
Getting Around Sikkim
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