Nestling in the Himalayan mountains, the state of Sikkim is characterized by mountainous terrain, it is bordered by Nepal to the west, China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the east. The West Bengal lies to the south. The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine, and almost the entire state is hilly, with an elevation ranging from 280 meters (920 ft) to 8,586 meters (28,169 ft). The summit of Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, is the state's highest point, situated on the border between Sikkim and Nepal.
Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity. It also has the only open land border between India and China. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tamang, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sunwar and English. English is taught in schools and used in government documents. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim's economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of 2014 the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states although it is also among the fastest-growing.
The state has 28 mountain peaks, more than 80 glaciers, 227 high-altitude lakes (including theTsongmo, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri Lakes), five major hot springs, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Eight mountain passes connect the state to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.
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