The population of Sikkim comprises three main groups of people, the Lepchas, Bhutias and the Nepalese. The Lephhas, also called Kongpa, or the people of the ravines are said to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. There is a popular legend about them that, from beneath the slopes of Kanchenjunga, God created a man and a woman from whom all Sikkimese descended. These first people were called Lepcha and their land was known as Mayal Lyang. The Lepcha are great industrialists, speak a distinct dialect and have their own names for rivers, flowers, plants, animals, and even insects.
Bhutias, the next major community had their original home in Tibet, and came and settled in Sikkim about seven centuries ago. They introduced Buddhism in Sikkim, and this is today the state's major religion. The Bhutias are successful traders and agriculturists, are generally more tough than the others, and can be found tending cattle even at very high altitudes. The Nepalese form the third major ethnic group in Sikkim, and today form the dominant population. They came to Sikkim as recently as two centuries ago, many during the Gurkha invasions and they are Hindu by religion.The population is mostly rural, living in scattered hamlets and villages. Gangtok, with fewer than 30,000 people, is Sikkim's largest settlement; other towns, in descending order of population, include Singtam, Rongphu, Jorthang, Nayabazar, Mangan, Gyalshing, and Namchi.
Hindi is the official language, with English as the working language of the government; Lepcha, Bhutia, Nepali, and Limbu are also spoken. A majority of population of North Sikkim comprises of Bhutias, Lepchas and less number of Nepalis. The Lepchas are predominantly concentrated in the Dzongu Areas, Bhutias are seen from Kabi-Tingda to Lachen-Lachung. Nepalies are found mixed up around Phodong, Mangshila and Mangan. Bhutias and Lepchas are usually Bhuddist and Nepalis are Hindus, whereas around 1 % of populations from all tribes have lately converted to Christians.