AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Surabhi Sunil
According to historical records, Rabdentse was the second capital of the former Kingdom of Sikkim after Yaksum.
Its lifetime as the capital from 1660 to 1814 was marred by the invasion of the Gurkha army, which left it destroyed. What remains now of the once flourishing capital are the ruins of the palace and the chortens that the royal family is believed to have offered prayers to.
Image by ESikkimTourism, Webpage
Exploring the ruins of Rabdentse, the medieval capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sikkim, is like peeping through a looking glass into the intriguing past of this Himalayan kingdom.
The approach to the ruins is shrouded in thickly wooded forests giving one a feel of the strategic thought behind the location.
Photo by @subharnab, Instagram
The Three Chortens of Rabdentse
Photo by @travelsafaraurhum, Instagram
Standing on an elevated area of the living quarters, there is a clear view of the Pemayangtse Monastery on the hill opposite, look a bit further and at a higher elevation, you can also see the Sangak Choeling Monastery.
Moreover, the palace grounds also give you a spectacular view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges and the famed Mt. Kanchenjunga.
The Rabdantse complex also houses the Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park with about 200 of the 550 bird species found in Sikkim.
Breathtaking views from Rabdentse
Photo by @wildflower_bloomin, Instagram