Hi

Short brief on Darjeeling and Sikkim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
DARJEELING:
Darjeeling conjures visions of serenity, of vibrant green hills steeped in splendor, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. The flaming red rhododendrons, the sparkling white magnolias, the miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir - all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS.
Darjeeling - the name is derived from the Tibetan word 'Dorje' which means the precious stone or ecclesiastical scepter, which is emblematic of the thunderbolt of Indra, and 'ling' - a place, hence the land of the thunderbolt. The scepter of Indra is believed to have fallen at a place where now stands the Observatory Hill.


As a state of India
The 1979 assembly election saw Nar Bahadur Bhandari elected Chief Minister of Sikkim. Bhandhari held on to win again in 1984 and 1989. In 1994 Assembly politician Pawan Kumar Chamling became the Chief Minister of Sikkim. In 1999 and 2004 Chamling consolidated his position to sweep the polls.
Sino-Indian relations were somewhat bruised in 2000 by an event in Sikkim which challenged China's longstanding claim of Sikkim as an independent country. The unusual event was the escape of Ogyen Trinley Dorje from Tibet to Dharamsala, India. Ogyen Trinley Dorje is one of the two rival claimants who seeks recognition as the 17th Karmapa, the head of the Black Hat branch of Tibetan Buddhism (see Karmapa controversy). The two claimants did battle in the Indian court system for control of the considerable funds collected by the 16th Karmapa for the restoration and maintenance of Rumtek Monastery, located in Gangtok, Sikkim. The Chinese, who recognize Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the true Karmapa, were unhappy about the court outcome which awarded the monastery funds to the other rival. However, the Chinese government was in a quandary as to what to do about it, as any protest to India would mean an explicit endorsement that the high court of India holds jurisdiction over Sikkim.
In 2003, with the thawing of ties between the two nations, Sikkim was finally recognised to be a part of India by China. The two governments also proposed to open the Nathula and Jelepla Passes in 2005.
Culture:
The people of Sikkim are warm, simple and friendly with a nature gaiety. The customs and rituals of Sikkim are as diverse as the ethnic that inhabit the land; the 'Lepchas -- essentially children of the forest , the 'Bhutias' and the 'Nepalese'.
All communities live in perfect harmony sharing each other’s culture, ethos, and traditions with the result that there is now a Sikkimese culture, which is composite of all the three prominent communities. Most of the people speak Nepali, which is also the state language. It is the harmony of the place that provides justification to the name of the state derived form Sukhim, meaning “happy home, a place of peace”.
The state's cultural life is related to Tibetan religious and aesthetic traditions. The cultural climax of the year comes with the 2-day Phanglhapsol festival, when masked dances are performed in honour of Kanchenjunga, presiding deity and the mountain. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has one of the largest collection of Tibetan books in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries are repositories of artistic treasures, including wall paintings, tankas (religious paintings mounted on brocade), and bronze images.
The Sikkimese culture finds expression in it's beautiful arts and crafts.Knotted woollen carpets with the dominating dragon emblem, and eight auspicious signs; wood carvings, Lepcha handlooms in traditional designs and rich colours for clothes, bags, linen and accessories; leather jackets and handbags, articles of homemade paper, Thanka (religious scroll paintings) and Sikkimese Dragon Jewellery make a fascinating collection of handicrafts, inspired by an age old culture. Carry back a momento of your holiday - be it an intricately carved piece of furniture (choktse), a highly embellished carpet or an artifact of woven bamboo.
Gangtok ( Capital of sikkim).
The capital of Sikkim, is a unique hill resort of northeast India and undoubtedly one of the most oft-visited ones. Perched on the ridge of a hill at an altitude of 1700 mt, Gangtok is famous for its scenic beauty and spectacular views of the Kanchenjunga, their highest mountain in the world. The town offers a mild temparate climate with a temperature of around 23 degree centigrate in Summer and around 6 degree centigrate during winter.
This hill resort is 110 km from Siliguri and well connected with other major places of the region.
Basic Facts about Gangtok
Officially the population of Gangtok is around 50,000 but actually the number is at least double that figure. The principle language in Gangtok as in other parts of the region is Nepali. But Hindi, English, Bengali and Tibetan are also spoken and understood by a large part of the population. The town covers an area of approximately 25 square kilometer.


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