The Second Capital of Sikkim – The Travelling Slacker


In case you have under no circumstances heard of it, Rabdentse is an archaeological internet site in West Sikkim district, situated close to the touris hub of Pelling. It was the second capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 AD to 1814 AD. As the capital moved to other areas, sooner or later settling in Gangtok, it lost its prominence but nonetheless, the palace ruins and stupas of Rabdetnse remains 1 of the most iconic monuments in Sikkim, and in truth in the entire of Indian Himalayas.

Rabdentse: The Second Capital of Sikkim

We have been at Namchi the earlier day, exactly where a person told me that Rabdentse is the Machu Picchu of India. I am not fond of such analogies that diminishes the stature of an unrelated monument by comparing it with a considerably much more popular 1, but at the similar time, I created sort of a mental image, that of an expansive cluster of ruins atop a hill. In any case, going to it was a portion of the program and so, we proceeded towards it the subsequent day.

Having said that, we reached Rabdentse it fairly late in the day. We have been driving from Namchi to Pelling, but we had numerous stops at many monasteries and also at the Buddha Park in Ravangla. It was nearly having dark in that January afternoon when we crossed Geyzing and reached Rabdentse. Having said that, we only saw a ticket counter and there was just thick vegetation beyond it and no sign of any monument. On major of that it was prominently described as Bird Park rather than an archaeological internet site!

It looked confusing but anyway we got the tickets and stepped in. Just after a whilst we realised that the ruins are somewhat inside the jungles and above a compact hillock. But there is also a big enclosed for birds out there, which is situated just before the ruins. I have no interest in caged animals or birds, so I skipped that 1 and immediately moved towards the palace ruins. It is about 1 KM’s from the ticket counter and a upward climb. So, it was nearly like a genuine hike till it lasted. Just after about 10 minutes of brisk hiking, I ultimately noticed a stupa, the initial sign of the ruins. Just after that point, it took a different turn and a different 100 yards to ultimately attain the Rabdentse Ruins. The grass had turned yellow in the winter but I quickly realized that the location is incredibly well known amongst the locals, nearly like a picnic spot, at least the locals unquestionably seemed to be considering so.

Wintry delights
Excellent day for a picnic

The capital was shifted from Yuksom to Rabdentse by Tensung Namgyal, the second Chogyal of Sikkim. He pick a location protected by dense forests and constructed the fortifications. These fortifications are now in ruins but the location presents an fascinating contrast as the internet site is set amidst effectively maintained and manicured lawns and tourist amenities lately created by the administration.

An special internet site

The cause for this contrast is due to the fact in the 18th century, Sikkim faced numerous invasions from the neghbours, particularly from Nepal and also from Bhutan at occasions. These repeated invasions steadily decreased the capital complicated to the present ruinous state. In particular the Gorkha armies sacked the location a handful of occasions and created 1 of the kings to flee to Tibet. At some point, the rulers realized that it is as well close to Nepal border and much easier to invade, and so this spot was abandoned for much more securely placed areas and sooner or later settled in Gangtok. Anyway, the complicated is maintained effectively now and it is protected by the ASI.

Ruined palace but effectively-maintained complicated
A location like no other

So, as of now, we just have a cluster of walls and pillars. There is sort of a religious internet site in 1 corner, exactly where the royal family members utilised to give prayers. It is nonetheless maintained effectively with a handful of stone slabds with religious icnonography on what looked like a marble slab, and some prayer flags. On the other side of the complicated, we have the remains of the living quarters, such as 3 big chortens on the edge, exactly where the royals prayed to their ancestors. There is also a seperate property nearby, which seemed to be a museum for storing the smaller sized artifacts discovered in the location. Having said that, it was locked when we visited, might be due to the fact it was currently as well late.

Location of Prayer
The major charm of Raabdentse is its setting. Atop the hillock, it also presents clear views of the Kanchenjunga variety. Having said that, just as it occurred to me in case of Pelling Sky Stroll, it was not a very good day for such views, and I could not see any.  Yet another significant monastery in Sikkim named the Pemayangtse Monastery is situated nearby and each can be noticed from every other. It was currently having dark, so we visited Pemayangtse the subsequent morning but that is a unique story.

How to attain Rabdentse?

Rabdentse is situated someplace in between Pelling and Geyzing, which are 10 KMs apart. Pelling is the tourist town that most persons have heard of and exactly where all the hotels are situated. Geyzing is much more of an administrative center exactly where most of the offices are situated. If you are in mood, you can even stroll from Pelling to Rabdense, which really should not be much more than five-six KMs.

Must I pay a visit to Rabdentse?

In quick, yes. It is difficult to describe every thing and if you want history, you can just study much more of Sikkim’s History. It is an crucial location in Sikkim’s history that is also visited by Buddhist pilgrims. Apart from that, it is 1 of the most special archaeological complexes you will ever see in India.

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