Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/513

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SIKKIM

169

Oliver (E. E.), Across tlie Border, or Pathan and Baluch. London, 1891. Thornton (T, H.), Life of Colonel Sir R. Sandenian. 8. Lnndon, 1895.

SIKKIM.

An Indian feudatory State in the Himalayas, bounded on the N. by Tibet proper, on the E. by the Tibetan district of Chumbi, on the S. by the British district of Darjiling, and on the W. by Nepal. Extreme length from N. to S., 70 miles ; extreme breadth, 50 miles.

In March 1889 a treaty was signed by the Viceroy of India and the Chinese representative, by which the British protectorate over Sikkim is recognised by China. The treaty (ratified by Queen Victoria on August 17, 1890) also declares that the British Government has direct and exclusive control over the internal administration and foreign relations of Sikkim. A British officer has been appointed to advise the Maharaja and his council, and to re- organise the administration. The Maharaja, after having declined to comply with the conditions prescribed by the Indian government, was compelled to live for some time under surveillance in British India, and in 1895 was allowed to return to Sikkim. The members of the council carry on the administration, with the assistance of the Political Agent.

Estimated area, 2,818 square miles. Population, according to a census taken in 1891, 30,458. The people are known to their Gurkha neighbours as Lepchas, but call themselves Rong. Princi[»al towns, Tumlong and Gamtak, The religion is Lamaism.

The revenues of the Maharaja were formerly said to amount to Rx. 84 yearly over and above his subsidy. Since British intervention, there has been a considerable improvement, due chiefly to the increased assessment in tracts where surveys have been made. In the year 1893-94, the revenue of the State increased to Rx. 7,600 ; the expenditure to Rx. 6,026. The land revenue, amounting to Rx. 3,658, is assessed and collected by twelve Kazis and other subordinate officials. The Kazis exercise a limited civil and criminal jurisdiction within their districts ; important cases being referred to the council. The lamas pay no dues to the State.

Sikkim produces rice, Indian corn, millet, oranges, tea, and two or three kinds of cloth. There are valuable forests in the State and wide tracts of unoccupied waste. A few copper mines are worked. The principal trade route from Bengal to Tibet passes through Sikkim ; but the through trade is, for the time being, practically extinguished, owing to the complications on the Tibetan frontier. The following table gives the value of imports into Bengal from, and exports from Bengal to Sikkim, according to Indian returns : —

Imports . Exports .

1894

1895

Rx.

41,888 30,600

1896

Rx.

50,368 43,385

1897

Rx.

75,590 41,790

1898

Rx.

28,311 20,708

Rx.

49,404 36,406

The chiefs imports were cotton piece goods, tobacco, and rice ; the chief exports food grains and vegetables.

See 'Report on a Visit to Sikkim in 1873,' by Sir John Edgar, Calcutta, 1874; 'Report on Explorations in Sikkim, &c.,' by Lieut -Col. Strahan, Dehra Dun 1889, ; Gazetteer of Sikkim, Calcutta, 1894; 'At the Gates of Tibet,' by J. 0. H. Louis London.