West Sikkim district

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West Sikkim
Rabdentse Palace
West Sikkim's location in Sikkim
West Sikkim's location in Sikkim
Coordinates: 27°17′N 88°15′E / 27.283°N 88.250°E / 27.283; 88.250Coordinates: 27°17′N 88°15′E / 27.283°N 88.250°E / 27.283; 88.250
Country India
 • Total1,166 km2 (450 sq mi)
 • Total136,435
 • Density120/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-SK

West Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its capital is Geyzing, also known as Gyalshing. The district is a favourite with trekkers due to the high elevations. Other important towns include Pelling and Yuksom. Local people also call as Pallo- Sikkim and Sano- Sikkim as commonly.


West Sikkim is the site of the ancient state capital Yuksom.West Sikkim It served as Sikkim's capital beginning in 1642 for almost 50 years until it was shifted to Rabtense. The district was under the occupation of the Nepalese for 30 years in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16), the district was returned to Sikkim.


West Sikkim covers an area of 1,166 square kilometres (450 sq mi). Attractions include the Khecheopalri Lake, where, according to legend, not a leaf is allowed to fall on the surface of the lake and the Dubdi Monastery, the first monastery of the state.

Assembly Constituencies[edit]

The district was previously divided into 8 assembly constituencies.

  • Yoksam-Tashiding(BL)
  • Yangthang
  • Maneybung-Dentam
  • Gyalshing-Barnyak
  • Rinchenpong(BL)
  • Daramdin(BL)
  • Soreng-Chakung
  • Salghari-Zoom (SC)

National protected area[edit]


The economy is mainly agrarian, despite most of the land being unfit for cultivation owing to the precipitous and rocky slopes.


The region has many power projects and enjoys almost uninterrupted electricity. Roads are in poor condition owing to the frequent landslides.


According to the 2011 census West Sikkim district has a population of 136,435,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Grenada.[2] This gives it a ranking of 608th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 117 inhabitants per square kilometre (300/sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 10.58%.[1] West Sikkim has a sex ratio of 941 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 78.69%.[1]

At the time of the 2011 Census of India, 58.14% of the population in the district spoke Nepali, 18.59% Limbu, 6.96% Lepcha, 4.95% Sikkimese, 3.06% Sherpa, 2.44% Hindi, 2.04% Tamang and 1.75% Rai as their first language.[3]

The people are mainly of Limbu descent. Other ethnic groups include the Lepcha and Bhutia communities. Nepali is the most widely spoken language in the district.

Flora and fauna[edit]

West Sikkim houses a great diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are used by Indigenous and local communities.[4] Since most of the district is hilly it enjoys a temperate climate. Above 3,800 m (12,000 ft) the slopes are full of rhododendron forests.

In 1977 West Sikkim district became home to Khangchendzonga National Park, which has an area of 1,784 km2 (688.8 sq mi).[5] It shares the park with North Sikkim district.[6]


Administrative divisions[edit]

Three chortens in Rabendtse
Glacier valley near Thangshing

Scenes from the district

West Sikkim is divided into two sub-divisions:[7]

Gyalshing subdivisionSorreng subdivisionA clickable map of West Sikkim exhibiting its two subdivisions.
About this image

Name Headquarters Number of villages[8] Location
Gyalshing Gyalshing
West Sikkim Subdivisions Gyalshing.png
Soreng Soreng
West Sikkim Subdivisions Sorreng.png


  1. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Grenada 108,419 July 2011 est.
  3. ^ 2011 Census of India, Population By Mother Tongue
  4. ^ O'Neill, Alexander; et al. (29 March 2017). "Integrating ethnobiological knowledge into biodiversity conservation in the Eastern Himalayas". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 13 (21). doi:10.1186/s13002-017-0148-9. PMC 5372287. PMID 28356115. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  5. ^ O'Neill, Alexander (29 March 2017). "Sikkim claims India's first mixed-criteria UNESCO World Heritage Site" (PDF). Current Science. 112 (5): 893–994. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  6. ^ Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Sikkim". Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "MDDS e-Governance Code (Sikkim Rural)" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.

External links[edit]