Sikkim is a northeastern state of India. It borders China in its north and east, Bhutan in its east, Nepal in its west and the Indian state of West Bengal in its south. Sikkim is also located close to the Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states.
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A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kanchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 25% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.

Economy

Sikkim produces more cardamom than any other Indian state, and is home to the largest cultivated area of cardamom. Because of its hilly terrain and poor transport infrastructure, Sikkim lacks a large-scale industrial base. Brewing, distilling, tanning and watchmaking are the main industries, and are mainly located in the southern regions of the state, primarily in the towns of Melli and Jorethang.
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In addition, a small mining industry exists in Sikkim, extracting minerals such as copper, dolomite, talc, graphite, quartzite, coal, zinc and lead. Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India, and is the world's second largest producer of the spice after Guatemala. It is the most organic farming state in India.

Transport

Roads


road transport
National Highway 31A and National Highway 31 link Siliguri to Gangtok. Sikkim National Transport runs bus and truck services. Privately run bus, tourist taxi and jeep services operate throughout Sikkim, and also connect it to Siliguri. A branch of the highway from Melli connects western Sikkim. Towns in southern and western Sikkim are connected to the hill stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling in northern West Bengal.

Rail


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The closest major railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri in neighbouring West Bengal. However, the New Sikkim Railway Project has been launched to connect the town of Rangpo in Sikkim with Sevoke on the West Bengal border. The five-station line is intended to support both economic development and Indian Army operations, and was initially completed by 2015, though as of 2013 its construction has met with delays. In addition, the Ministry of Railways proposed plans in 2010 for railway lines linking Mirik to Ranipool.

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