East Sikkim district

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East Sikkim is one of the Six administrative districts of the Indian state of Sikkim. Geographically, East Sikkim occupies the south-east corner of the state. The headquarter of East Sikkim is Gangtok, which is also the state capital. It is the hub of all administrative activity in the state. The district is surrounded by Pakyong District of Sikkim in the South and South East, Bhutan in the East, People's Republic of China in the North East, North Sikkim district in the North and South Sikkim district in the West.

East Sikkim
Changu Lake, Gangtok.jpg
Bird's eye view of Gangtok City from Ganeshtok.jpg
Nathang Pano 1.jpg
Changu Lake, view of Gangtok, Nathang Valley
East Sikkim's location in Sikkim
East Sikkim's location in Sikkim
Coordinates: 27°19′N 88°36′E / 27.317°N 88.600°E / 27.317; 88.600Coordinates: 27°19′N 88°36′E / 27.317°N 88.600°E / 27.317; 88.600
Country India
State Sikkim
 • Total964 km2 (372 sq mi)
610 m (2,000 ft)
 • Total283,583
 • Density290/km2 (760/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-SK
Vehicle registrationSK-01, SK-07, SK-08
Major HighwaysNH 717A, NH 10, NH 717B, NH 310, NH 310A

The civilian region is administered by a district collector, appointed by the state government and the military area by a major general. As of 2011 it is the most populous of the four districts of Sikkim.[1]


East Sikkim was part of the kingdom of Sikkim for most of its history. In the 19th century, the district was under the rule of the Bhutanese. After the Anglo Bhutan War, the territory was virtually under the command of the British forces. After India's independence in 1947, the area was part of the kingdom of Sikkim under the protection of India. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Nathula Pass witnessed a few skirmishes between India and China. In 1975, the Sikkim formally became part of the Indian Union as India's 22nd state. The district was under the occupation of the Nepalese for 30 years in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.



East Sikkim is connected with wide road network managed by Border Road Organization, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited and State PWD.

East Sikkim has the following National Highways:


Pakyong Airport lies on the town of Pakyong in Pakyong District is the nearest airport from East Sikkim. The airport has daily direct flight services from New Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata.


Rangpo Railway Station an under construction railway station of Northeast Frontier Railway zone is the nearest railway station that lies on Rangpo Town of Pakyong District.


The district occupies an area of 560 km2 (220 sq mi).

The two important Mountain Passes of East Sikkim are Nathula and Jelepla, both passes connects Sikkim with China.

Military-wise, the district is a very sensitive area with the Indian army having control over most areas east of Gangtok and near its borders with People's Republic of China and Bhutan. Visitors to this region are restricted and just a few areas are open to tourists in the areas east of Gangtok.

Popular tourist locales of East District and Pakyong District are the Tsongmo Lake, Lake Menmecho, Dzuluk, Baba Mandir, Gnathang Valley, Elephant Lake Kupup, Lungthung View Point, Tukla Valley, Thambi View Point and the Nathu La pass. The pass was first opened during the 1904 Younghusband Expedition to Tibet.[5] It saw a tremendous boom in trade during 1950–1959 when the Chinese troops occupying Tibet were supplied through the pass.[6] The pass and Baba Mandir are open to Indian nationals only. To enter this region a special permit is required; the Inner Line Permit has to be obtained one day prior to departure. This permit is made through local tourist offices. Other tourist areas include the town of Gangtok, the Phodong Monastery north of Gangtok and the Rumtek Monastery.

Other special attractions in the Capital City Gangtok are M G Marg, Hanuman Tok, Ranka Monastery, Himalayan Zoological Park, Palzor Stadium, Tashi View Point, Pakyong Airport view Point. Zuluk And Gnathang Valley are famous attractions in East Sikkim.

Wildlife SanctuariesEdit

Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, and Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary two famous wildlife sanctuaries lies in the East Sikkim district.

Rivers and LakesEdit


River Teesta, the largest river of state flows in East district from Dikchu to Singtam.

River Jaldhaka originates from Kupup at Gangtok Subdivision of East Sikkim but flows south east towards Pakyong District, Bhutan, West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Other major rivers of east sikkim are Ranikhola, Ratey River, Roro River, Rangchang Khola etc.


List of important lakes of East Sikkim and Pakyong District are:

Flora and FaunaEdit

Variety of plants and wildlife are found in the East Sikkim and Pakyong District. The important ones are Red Panda the state animal, Blood pheasant the state bird Dendrobium nobile the state flower and Rhododendron the state tree are found in the wildlife sanctuaries of East sikkim. Other important wild animals include Snow Leopard, Himalayan black bear, Clouded leopard, Large Indian civet etc.[7] Forest Department, Government of Sikkim has also confirmed the presence of Royal Bengal Tiger in the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary of Pakyong District on January 2019.[8]


According to the 2011 census East Sikkim district alongwith Pakyong District has a population of 283,583,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Barbados.[9] This gives it a ranking of 574th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 295 inhabitants per square kilometre (760/sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 14.79%.[1] East Sikkim has a sex ratio of 872 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 84.67%.[1]


Religion in East Sikkim district (2011)[10]
Other or not stated

Hinduism is followed by majority of the people in the East Sikkim district. Buddhism followed by a considerable minority, while Christianity is the third largest religion, 40% of its adherents live in Gangtok. Islam is the fourth-largest religion and is mainly found in migrants in urban centres, mainly Gangtok.[10]


Languages of East Sikkim (2011)

  Nepali (65.59%)
  Hindi (8.63%)
  Bhotia (8.16%)
  Lepcha (3.41%)
  Bhojpuri (2.25%)
  Bengali (1.68%)
  Limbu (1.55%)
  Tamang (1.49%)
  Sherpa (1.14%)
  Others (6.1%)

At the time of the 2011 census, 65.59% of the population in the district spoke Nepali, 8.63% Hindi, 8.16% Bhutia, 3.41% Lepcha, 2.25% Bhojpuri, 1.68% Bengali, 1.55% Limbu, 1.49% Tamang, 1.14% Sherpa, 0.75% Rai and 0.51% Tibetan as their first language.[11]

Assembly ConstituenciesEdit

The district is divided into 7 assembly constituencies.


View of Kanchengaga from Gangtok
Gangtok at night
A young monk

Scenes from the district

Administrative divisionsEdit

East Sikkim is divided into three sub-divisions till June 2021, after that the two subdivisions namely Pakyong and Rongli is bifurcated from East Sikkim to Pakyong District:[12]

About this image

Name Headquarters Number of villages[13] Location
Gangtok Gangtok
Pakyong Pakyong
Rongli Rongli

Important Towns and CitiesEdit

The major towns and cities of East District are


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ Waddell, L. Austin (1905), Lhasa and its Mysteries, London: John Murray, p. 106 – via archive.org
  6. ^ Harris, Tina (2013), Geographical Diversions: Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions, University of Georgia Press, p. 39, ISBN 978-0-8203-4512-3
  7. ^ Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Sikkim". Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  8. ^ [4]
  9. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Barbados 286,705 July 2011 est.
  10. ^ a b "East Sikkim District Religion Census 2011". Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  11. ^ 2011 Census of India, Population By Mother Tongue
  12. ^ Sikkim Administrative Divisions (PDF) (Map). The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, New Delhi, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  13. ^ "MDDS e-Governance Code (Sikkim Rural)" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.

External linksEdit