About North District
The district is the largest of the four districts of Sikkim. The landscape is mountainous with dense vegetation all the way up to the alpine altitude before thinning out to desert scrub towards the Northern Tundra. Numerous waterfalls astride the main road make the trip to this district extremely picturesque.
The most prominent effect of the steepness of the valleys is the prevalence of landslides that at times drop to anything between 3000 to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) carrying devastation along their course. Most of them are caused either by the melting snow beds on top of the mountains or by erosive action of the rains. Most of the people of the state reside near Mangan, the district headquarters which is about 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. Further north the elevation increases with the vegetation turning from temperate to alpine to tundra. Temperatures range from about 25° to below -40° in the extreme high reaches where the altitude is in excess of 6,000 meters. Kanchenjunga is the highest peak at over 8,000 m, straddling its eastern border with Nepal and can be seen clearly from the town of Singhik.
District is divided in four Subdivisions named Mangan, Dzongu, Kabi and Chungthang.
- North Sikkim District Population 2011 – in 2011, North Sikkim had population of 43,709 of which male and female were 24,730 and 18,979 respectively. In 2001 census, North Sikkim had a population of 41,030 of which males were 23,414 and remaining 17,616 were females.
- North Sikkim District Density 2011 -The initial provisional data released by census India 2011, shows that density of North Sikkim district for 2011 is 10 people per sq. km. In 2001, North Sikkim district density was at 10 people per sq. km. North Sikkim district administers 4,226 square kilometers of areas.
- North Sikkim Sex Ratio 2011 With regards to Sex Ratio in North Sikkim, it stood at 767 per 1000 male compared to 2001 census figure of 752. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate. In 2011 census, child sex ratio is 929 girls per 1000 boys compared to figure of 995 girls per 1000 boys of 2001 census data.
Exquisite, thrilling and vibrant: these are the three words that describe North Sikkim. It offers adventurers and nature lovers with a vast treasure of alpine beauty; valleys covered with flowers and a showcase of vibrant ethnic communities that resides in the high altitude mountains. North Sikkim is sometimes compared to the Swiss Alps by many visitors to the region; this complement alone gives credence to the ethereal beauty of this place that has to be seen to be believed. The region provides magnificent views of the mountain ranges of the Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolochu; treks through gentle meadows overlooking the snow laden mountain and the mystical Guru Dongmar Lake are truly a divine experience. In addition, the rural scenery filled with monasteries, meadows and lush green forest creates an ambiance of paradise on earth. Mangan is the district headquarters of North Sikkim. A gateway to unparalleled beauty. The northern most parts of the district merge with the Tibetan plateau and lend a unique character to the region and some animals like the Tibetan Wild Ass called kyang can be found in the northernmost areas. Places of Interest around North Sikkim KABI LUNGCHOK It is located 17 km from Gangtok along the North Sikkim Highway. The place is of historical importance to the Sikkimese because it was the venue where the treaty for brotherhood was affirmed between the Lepcha Chief Tekung Tek and the Bhutia chief named Khey Bhumsa. Amidst a dense cover of forest the historical treaty is marked by a memorial stone. PHENSANG MONASTERY The monastery is built on a hill slope that runs from Kabi Lungchok to Phodong and is adorned with beautiful landscapes. It was built in 1721 and belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. PHODONG MONASTERY It is located 38 km from Gangtok and is one among the six important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim. It was built by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal in the eighteenth century. SEVEN SISTER FALLS The Seven Sister Falls is located 32 km from Gangtok along the National Highway leading to North Sikkim. A picturesque waterfall awaits the visitor with a watching shed where they can enjoy the magnificent view of the waterfall and click memorable photographs. SINGHIK Singhik’s ideal location provides spectacular close views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the graceful Mt. Siniolochu. Tourists can venture for short natural treks along the higher slopes of the mountain. A well located Tourist Lodge is available for accommodation. RONG LUNGTEN LEE The Rong-Lungten-Lee is a replica of a traditional Lepcha’s house. It consists of three rooms and an attic; tourists are allowed to visit and witness the unique lifestyle of the Lepchas. Nearby is the Namprikdang where lies the confluence of the Teesta and Kanaka rivers. CHUNGTHANG Chungthang is the point where the downhill descent of the Teesta begins followed by the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung Chu River. Chungthang is located 95 km from Gangtok, 23 km from Lachung and 29 km from Lachen and populated mainly by the Lepcha ethnic community. LACHUNG Lachung has emerged as a popular destination because of its proximity to Yumthang; it is located at a distance of 25 km from Yumthang. The Lachung village has a local self governing body called the ‘Dzumsa’ and the villagers have retained their unique cultural identity over the years in this region. The area of the village is stretched on either side of Lachung and the Lachung monastery is the prominent place for all religious and cultural activities. YUMTHANG Yumthang is the largest draw in North Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of 11,800 feet surrounded by snow-clad mountains, rhododendrons, hot-springs and the vibrant local communities, it has everything an ideal alpine tour can offer. Some travellers even compare it to the beauty of the Swiss Alps. For adventure seekers it offers treks to the Green Lake and Phunithoka. LACHEN Lachen can be reached by a 6 hour drive from Gangtok and is situated at an altitude of 2750 meters. Chief attraction is the Lachen Monastery standing on top of the village which provides excellent views of the alpine landscape and lush green countryside. Hotels, resorts and lodges are available for accommodation in the village. THANGU Thangu is situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft; it is the base for treks to the Guru Dongmar Lake and Cho Lhamu – the source of the River Teesta. GURU DONGMAR LAKE The Guru Dongmar Lake is not only the most sacred lake in Sikkim revered both by the Hindus and Buddhist people, but provides a sight and ambience that takes one’s breath away with its mystical and unparalleled charm. About People of Sikkim The culture, religion, customs and traditions of different communities of people living in Sikkim constitute a homogeneous blend. These three communities are the Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis. In urban areas many people have settled which are engaged in business and government services. Due to the development activities in the state like the construction of roads, bridges and buildings various labourers migrated from the plains and Nepal. A majority of population of North Sikkim comprises of Bhutias, Lepchas and less number of Nepalis. The Lepchas are predominantly concentrated in the Dzongu Areas, Bhutias are seen from Kabi-Tingda to Lachen-Lachung. Nepalies are found mixed up around Phodong, Mangshila and Mangan. Bhutias and Lepchas are usually Bhuddist and Nepalis are Hindus, whereas around 1 % of populations from all tribes have lately converted to Christians. The Lepchas The Lepchas were the original inhabitants of Sikkim before the Bhutias and Nepalis. The word ‘Leppcha’ means the ravine folk. These people mostly live on agriculture of paddy, cardamom and oranges. The Lepchas are predominantly the Buddhists but many of them are also Christians. But before adopting Buddhism or Christianity as their religion, the earliest Lepcha settlers believe in the bone faith or mune faith based on the spirits, good and bad. They worshipped spirits of mountains, rivers and forests which was very natural for a tribe during those days. Today, the Lepchas resides in the central part of the Sikkim. The Lepcha folklore is rich with stories. The villages of the Lepchas are very small. A Lepcha hut is usually made of bamboo and is raised about five feet above the ground on stilts. There are just a couple of rooms with only small minimum essential requirements of life. The male Lepcha wears a dress called a “pagi” made of cotton, which is stripped. The female Lepcha wears a two piece dress. The Lepchas speak the Lepcha language. This language is not very well developed but is very rich in vocabulary and related to the flora and fauna of Sikkim. Hunting of the wild animals and fishing are the main occupation of the Lepcha people. The Lepcha people are also very good at archery. The polyandry marriages are permitted amongst the Lepchas, but now this is very rare. Nowadays, the government also feels protective towards the Lepchas. The Bhutias The Bhutias originally belongs to the Tibet. These people migrated to Sikkim after the 15th century and settled in North Sikkim. These people are known as the Lachenpas and Lachungpas in the North Sikkim. The Bhutias speak the Sikkimese language, a dialect of the Tibetan language. Bhutias constitute about ten percent of the total population of Sikkim. The villages of Bhutia are very large as compared to those of Lepchas. A Bhutia house called “Khin” is usually in the shape of a rectangle. The male Bhutia wears a traditional dress known as the “Bakhu” which is a loose cloak type garment with full sleeves. The ladies wears a silken “Honju” that is a full sleeve blouse and a loose gown type garment. The ladies are very fond of heavy jewellery made of pure gold. The marriage in a Bhutia family is also arranged through negotiations. Before the marriage, the boy’s uncle goes to the girl’s house with gifts to ask for the hand in marriage for his nephew. The Nepalis The Nepalis are third type of people that live in Sikkim after the Bhutias. They migrated in large numbers in Sikkim after the Lepchas and Bhutias. Today, the Nepalis constitute more than 80 % of the total population of Sikkim. The Nepalis introduced the terraced system of cultivation and the cardomom was an important cash crop introduced by them. Some of the Nepalis are the Hindus except the Sherpas and Tamangs who are Buddhists. The business class people of Nepalis are known as Newars. The Nepalis speak the Nepali language, which is understood by the people all over the state. This language is similar to Hindi and uses the Devanagri script. The male Nepali wears a traditional dress that consists of long double breast garment flowing below the waist and a trouser known as “Daura Suruwal”. The female wears a dress that consist of a double breasted garment, which is known as “Chow Bandi Choli”. They also wear a shawl known as “Majetro”.