Sikkim is a small and beautiful state with mountainous terrain, cliffs and valleys. Dominating both legend and landscape is the mighty massif of Khangchendzonga - known to the outside world as Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, towering at 8598 meter. The Himalayan state of Sikkim, which in 1975 had elected to join the Indian Union is one of the most picturesque regions of Asia. The bowl-like, mountain-girdled state in the eastern Himalayas is bordered on the west by Nepal, north by Tibet, east by Bhutan and on the south by the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The State lies between latitudes 27°- 28°N and longitudes 88°- 89° E.
Sikkim is divided into four districts, viz. Eastern, Southern, Northern and Western. The most populated area is the Eastern district, which contains the capital town, Gangtok followed by Southern and Western districts. The Northern district is sparsely populated because of its inhospitable climate and steep ridges. Lying along the slopes of Himalayas between Tibet and plains of India, cut off from the rest of the world by mighty mountains, Sikkim’s scenic beauty has no parallel. East Sikkim’s historic past, mystic religion, sublime monasteries and age-old rituals have an attraction and can hardly to be found anywhere else in the world.
Sikkim’s population is a mix Lepchas - the original inhabitants, Bhutias, who migrated from Tibet and Nepalese. Of the total population of Sikkim of about 5.50 lakhs 70 per cent are Nepalese, while 16 percent are Bhutias and 14 percent are Lepchas. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two main religions prevalent in Sikkim.
Sikkim is drained by large number of perennial rivers. However, the two main river systems are the Teesta and the Rangit. The river Teesta is one of the main Himalayan rivers which originate in the glaciers of Sikkim at an elevation of over 8500 m above mean sea level. The river rises in mountainous terrain and is formed mainly by the union of two hill streams Lachen Chu and Lachung Chu at Chungthang in North Sikkim.