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'A daughter of the Empire': Beryl White In India 1901-03

The climate of Sikkim

Hills at Gangtok by Charles WaddingtonHills at Gangtok by Charles WaddingtonThe climate in Sikkim was temperate and cool but with extremes of rainfall and cold temperatures. The Bengal Times stated that ‘fine days are rare’ in Sikkim and refers to frequent rain fall.

The journalist Perceval Landon agreed:

‘I began to realise what the phrase ‘the rains’ means in Sikkim. To an English visitor the rain anywhere in India is somewhat striking when met for the first time; but Assam alone can compete with Sikkim for a sheer deluge of water, daily, consistent, never hurrying and never slacking in volume or rapidity.’

And he reported on the road conditions generated by these heavy downpours:

‘...what had, when I went over it first, been a well-metalled good bridle path developing near Gangtok into a real cart road, had turned under the downpour into a nubbly sequence of projecting stones, ankle deep in white slush.’

Apart from frequent rain, snow and frost are also to be reckoned with. On November 17, 1888, The Bengal Times reports the following about the weather in Sikkim:

‘The cold is so intense at that altitude rum was slightly frozen.’

And on 24th November 1888 the same newspaper states that ’17 degrees of frost have been registered’ in Sikkim.

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