by Benu Pradhan
About 3kms from Pelling and few minutes walk further down from Pemayangtse Monastery are the Rabdentse ruins the 2nd capital of Sikkim, founded by the 2nd Chogyal of Sikkim Tensung Namgyal in the year 1670. In this palace, Tensung Namgyal married three wives, first from Tibet, second from Bhutan and the daughter of Limboo king, Yo Yo Hang of Limbuwana eastern Nepal. The 3rd Chogyal Chador Namgyal and his half sister, Paden Wangmoo (the daughter from Bhutanese mother) claimed throne against her brother, which lead to the Bhutanese attack on Rabdentse and the fleeing away of Chador Namgyal for political shelter to Lhasa, and loosing Kalimpong to Bhutan in the process finally to brother of Chador Namgyal. The assassinations by his sister Paden at Borong hot spring during, when the king was deep in treatment (1716). With the final wishes of the dying king Sister Paden Wangmoo was caught and strangled to death and burnt at Samduptse (Namchi) before the king took his last breath.
Consecutively, Gyurmed Namgyal was the 4th Chogyal, Namgyal Phintsog was the 5th, and Tenzing Namgyal the 6th who ruled at Rabdentse. A Bhutia councilor Changzod Tamding’s great conspiracy against the course of succession by Namgyal Phintsogl. After Gyurme Namgyal the strong intervention by Lepcha councilor. Chanzo Karwang restored the throne in favour of Namgyal Phintsog. Towards the reign of Tenzing Namgyal the frequent Gorkha attack of Prithivi Narayan Shaha from the western boarder finally got the capital shifted to Tumlong. Having left the uncared ruins for a long time it became thickly covered with wild jungle. The site has been recently very fully excavated and restored by the Archeological survey of India .After the restoration one can now visit the king’s bed room , assembly hall and kitchen, Public courtyard and other palace guards’ room etc.
pic : coronation book/self