Sikkim was a Himalayan kingdom alongside Bhutan and Nepal till her merger with India in 1975. It was part of the fabled silk route and during ancient times, merchants would travelled to China for trade. The highest point of Sikkim is Mount Khangchenzhonga (the third highest mountain in the world) and the magnificence of the mountain was revered with the belief that the mountain is also the abode of the guardian diety Dzo-nga.
Over the many centuries, settlers resided in the mountainous regions with the traditional groups being the Lepchas, Bhutias and Limbus. Today, the population of Sikkim is about 650,000 - making it the least crowded state in India. The major religions observed in the state are Buddhism and Hinduism.