How Sikkim got its Name


Sikkim is a north-eastern state of India.

The most widely accepted origin theory of the name Sikkim is that it is a combination of two Limbu words: su, which means "new", and khyim, which means "palace" or "house". Little is known about the Sikkim History. Its original inhabitants were the Lepcha.The earliest historical mention of Sikkim is a record of the passage of the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, through the land in the 8th century.The Guru is reported to have blessed the land, introduced Buddhism. A fifth-generation descendant of Khye Bumsa, Phuntsog Namgyal, became the founder of Sikkim's monarchy in 1642, when he was consecrated as the first Chogyal, or priest-king, of Sikkim by the three venerated lamas at Yuksom. Phuntsog Namgyal was succeeded in 1670 by his son, Tensung Namgyal, who moved the capital from Yuksom to Rabdentse (near modern Pelling). In 1700, Sikkim was invaded by the Bhutanese with the help of the half-sister of the Chogyal, who had been denied the throne. The Bhutanese were driven away by the Tibetans. Between 1717 and 1733, the kingdom faced many raids by the Nepalese in the west and Bhutanese in the east, culminating with the destruction of the capital Rabdentse by the Nepalese. In 1791, China sent troops to support Sikkim and defend Tibet against the Gorkha Kingdom. Following the subsequent defeat of Gorkha, the Chinese Qing dynasty established control over Sikkim.Following the beginning of British rule in neighbouring India, Sikkim allied with Britain against their common adversary, Nepal. The Nepalese attacked Sikkim, overrunning most of the region including the Terai. This prompted the British East India Company to attack Nepal, resulting in the Gurkha War of 1814.In 1890, Sikkim became a British protectorate by means of a convention signed with China, although neither the governments of Sikkim nor Tibet was consulted. In 1947, when India became independent, a popular vote rejected Sikkim's joining the Indian Union.