Sikkim is an ecological hotspot nestling in the Himalayan mountain range. A traveller's paradise when it comes to nature tourism, Sikkim not only has the world's third highest mountain range Kanchendzonga (8586 m), it is also blessed with a rich variety of flora and fauna due to its unique location. Sikkim has a hilly terrain, but you will be surprised to find some beautiful lakes at such heights. And when there are heights, there are also waterfalls and hot-water springs to be found.
With so much to see and explore, no doubt, Sikkim is Nature's paradise. But you will be surprised to know that the place is also famous for its handicrafts, great artefacts and paintings. Artisans have been making these wonderful crafts for centuries and have achieved a level of perfection.
The major artefacts to be found in the state are the colourful carpets, Choktse foldable tables, wooden and bamboo artwork, masks, Thangka paintings and carved furniture. Besides this, they also have mastered the art of making shawls, woollen blankets, bags and jackets. Sikkim's handicrafts are known the world over and the driving force for such excellent artefacts is the art of self-dependency and a continuous passion to improve in all fields of life. The artistic skill has been preserved, improved and passed on from one generation to the next. And if you are not aware, then here is one example: the Sikkimese carpet weaving method is probably the oldest in the world. The use of rich colours makes them distinct and exotic. On a visit, do bring back one of these for your drawing room or bedroom.
The Sikkim art scene has grown because of the active participation and encouragement of the Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts, which was established in the year 1957, with the sole purpose of promoting and preserving the fine ethnic arts and crafts of Sikkim. The Directoris a unique combination of training-cum-production, spread over 20 centres in Sikkim, which had a modest beginning in one centre at Gangtok. A Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd was formed to facilitate effective marketing of quality-based products and make more jobs and avenues for craftsmen. These products have a huge potential for exports. So, this season, visit Sikkim to enjoy the green spaces as well as artefacts and paintings, that can fill your home space with life and colour.
Sikkim means "the new palace". The origin of the name is derived from two words-5u, which means new, and Khyim, which means palace. The palace was built by Sikkim's first ruler Phuntsok Namgyal. It is also known as "The Valley of Rice", "Paradise" and "The Hidden Valley of Rice".