Sikkim the first fully Organic State in India
Have you ever heard of the place called Gangtok, Sikkim in India? I guess only few people know about Sikkim. Then have you heard about Darjeeling and Assam? They are well-known places for tea leaves all over the world. Sikkim also cultivates its own tea leaves and sells it. The state of Sikkim is located between Nepal(West), Bhutan(East), and China(North). Sikkim was not part of India until the late 1900s. It was an independent country ruled by a King. It officially became part of India in 1975. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim.
The Nepali language is spoken primarily because many people from Nepal moved to Sikkim during the British regime. Basically, the first language is English in India. People who live here speak English, Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Hindi, as well as many other languages.
To enter the states of Sikkim, you must require the INNER LINE PERMIT. It can be obtained from Dehli Airport, Kolkata Airport, Bagdogra Airport, Guwahati Airport, and Pakyong Airport. One can also get the permit from the Indian Embassy anywhere in the world, but you need to confirm with the embassy.
For more than 10 years ago, the State of Sikkim has prohibited the use of plastic shopping bags. We do not see any plastic bags at all in Sikkim! Every shop uses paper bags instead. The city of Gangtok is located in the mountain range near Mount Kanchenjunga (the third highest mountain in the world), and since it is located in the mountains, the roads are not in good condition and as clean as it is in Japan, but the environmental protection and health consciousness are far more advanced than in Japan.
Organic Market in Gangtok, East Sikkim
The State of Sikkim is the only state that does not import any vegetables and fruits from the other parts of India and it is one of the leading states to export organic fruits and vegetables to the other parts of the country. Vegetables and fruits are 100% pesticide and fertilizers-free. The “Haat Bazar” in Gangtok is held at Lal bazar also known as Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex near “Mahatma Gandhi Marg” (MG Marg) every weekend. Since everything is locally grown and the people who live here shop for ingredients at the organic market, the concept of having a supermarket in Gangtok does not gel well.
The Sikkimese, Nepalese cuisine is different from Indian cuisine. Most of the spices used are the same ones used in any Indian dishes but somehow the food tastes totally different. People eat “Natto” locally known as “Kinema” which is traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Curry is one of the main dishes eaten by the local people in Sikkim, but it resembles the Japanese curry rather than the Indian curry which is filled with spices. People eat rice with some fried fish or meat accompanied with dal or meat gravy along with the local homemade “Dalle Achar” which is the chili sauce. In addition, steamed dumplings called “momo” is one of the traditional food here. Also, people tend to not to take any medicines, as they try to prevent from getting sick by mostly eating healthy foods and lots of spices.
These are the different kind of beans and lentils used for making “Dal”. In order to make Dal, you need to stir-fry the beans in a pressure cooker with onion, tomato, turmeric powder, and salt for taste after that add water and put the cooker lid and let the whistle go off. Depending on the type of lentils and beans, the taste may be slightly different or the taste of dal may differ depending on the dark taste.
This is the local snack made with Yak milk called “Churpi”. My friends said it is delicious! Although I always ate it, I could not taste any flavors at all. It is a popular item in Gangtok!
Meat and fish are fresh as they cut to the desired size on the spot. I heard that people eat Buffalo meat. I ate it for the first time, although it was hard compared to beef, it was delicious!
Hope the above travel information helps you to plan an amazing and memorable holiday in Sikkim, India.