Paper Abstract: India is crowned by the long sweep of Himalayas, the highest mountains in the world. They stretch from 2500 km from north-west to south-east and between 150 - 400 km from north to south. Nestled in the heart of Himalayas is the state of Sikkim with its rich biological diversity and cultural heritage. The forests and meadows are some of the most biologically diverse in India and contain about 30 species of Rhododendrons and 400 species of Orchids and various other flowering plants. They also act as home to about 144 mammals, 300 birds and 400 or more butterfly species. Apart from these it provides house to different ethnic groups including 'Lepchas', 'Bhutias', 'Nepalis' as well as Tibetan refugees who seek shelter in this culturally and historically rich area. The various natural treasures of this state attracts many national and international tourists thus making tourism an important income generating activity for Sikkim people. Eco-tourism with its focus on environmentally sound practice such as improving garbage management, tree plantation, checking anthropological activities such as mining, construction of dams and providing training to the local inhabitants offers a timely opportunity for Sikkim to improve livelihood to protect its unique culture. The various methods of environmental management and ecotourism of eastern Himalayas of Sikkim will be discussed in detail in this paper.

 

Source: Mekhala Geetika (Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India)