Sikkim is a small Himalayan state adjoining Tibet and had been an ally of the British since 1814 when an agreement on trade and free passage through the state was made.
The Tibetans persuaded the Rajah of Sikkim to block the route through the state by erecting a fort at Lingtu, an act in strict contravention of the agreement. Despite remonstrations by the Viceroy, work continued on the fort so eventually on 15th March a force under Colonel T Graham, RA, was despatched to capture the fort and drive the Tibetans out of the state. The fort was captured on 20th March and destroyed the following day.
In July following further incursions the British returned to Sikkim and found that the Tibetans were fortifying a position on the Jelapa Pass, from which they were driven out on 25th September. Having suffered around 400 casualties the Tibetans retired from Sikkim.