According to a news story last Thursday, the national government of India has changed its decision about allowing international mountaineering expeditions to climb Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak and a sacred spot for the Lepcha and Bhutia peoples of Sikkim.  The government had announced back in August that the mountain would be open […]

Quick, what is the third highest mountain in the world? Most lovers of geography trivia questions would know the highest—Everest—and the second highest—K2—but the third? The answer is a relatively lesser-known peak in the Eastern Himalayas, Mt. Kanchenjunga, located on the border of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim. Even less well known, unfortunately, […]

In 2006, the Lepchas of Sikkim became alarmed about proposals to build dams in the Teesta River basin, including ones in their Dzongu Reserve. Their protests, and their other responses to the dam-builders, form the subject of an article in Live History India, a digital platform that launched in 2017 to examine and reveal the […]

Despite protests by the Lepchas that the Teesta River and its tributaries are sacred, the Government of Sikkim continues to press for additional hydroelectric dams. India Climate Dialogue published a review last week by Athar Parvaiz of the reasons for Lepcha opposition to the dams, which are in various stages of planning. The government of […]

The Pang Lhabsol, one of Sikkim’s foremost festivals, celebrates the eternal peace declared 800 years ago between the original Lepcha inhabitants and the Bhutias, Tibetan Buddhist peoples who were then invading the region. According to legend, Thekong Tek, the chief priest of the Lepcha, and Khye Bhumsa, the ancestor of the Bhutia monarchs, assembled with […]