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A former kingdom, now a state of India. It is a small territory sandwiched between Nepal and Bhutan. The native people in early times were the Lepcha.

Then came Tibetan immigrants, called Bhutia, followers of the Nyingma ("Red Hat")* Buddhist faction in the civil war in Tibet. From around 1600 the Bhutia were the dominant people, and they established a monarchy. The position of hereditary Chogyal or religious ruler was established in 1642, in the Namgyal dynasty, which ruled Sikkim until the last Chogyal was deposed and the country absorbed into India on 16 May 1975.

Gyurmed had no legitimate son, but on his deathbed claimed that a nun was pregnant by him. Tamdang was the leader of a cabal that refused to accept the infant as king.

As far as I can tell, the Lepcha capital was at Gangtok. The Bhutia Chogyals moved it several times, typically in response to Nepalese or Bhutanese incursions, to Yoksam, Rabdentse, Tumlong, then finally in 1894 to Gangtok, which is the current capital.

The pre-independence flag featured a yellow chakra or Buddhist wheel on a white ground with a red border.

* My source for this called them Red Hat, which I have since found out is an outdated and unspecific term. I have replaced it here with Nyingma, but it might have been one of the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

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