Sikkim is a mountain state of India. It has borders with Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west and the Indian state of West Bengal in the south. Its capital is Gangtok. Population: 540,493 (2001 census). Its official language is Nepali, its religion is Vajrayana Buddhism.


In 1861, the British declared a protectorate over the rump of Sikkim left after detaching portions that passed directly under British control. On Indian independence, the British treaties with Sikkim continued with India as protecting power.

The last hereditary ruler, the Chogyal ("righteous ruler"), Palden Thondup Namgyal came to the throne in 1965.

On April 14, 1975, a referendum favored a merger with the union of India. Sikkim became the 22nd Indian State, with a popularly elected chief minister, on April 26, 1975. The position of Chogyal was thus abolished, ending the monarchy. On May 16 the annexation was complete.


The demographics of Sikkim changed in the 20th century due to immigration of Nepalese, Iibetans, and Indians (many of the latter being Indian-provided bureaucrats who may have foreseen personal advantage from Sikkim's incorporation into India).

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