Rabdentse was the erstwhile royal capital of Sikkim. About 107 km west of Gangtok, the town was first established in 1670 by Chadok Namgyal after shifting the primary capital from Yuksom after it was declared sacred in 1642. The city was almost completely destroyed by the Nepalese Army leaving only the chortens and ruins of the palace. Recent excavations and restorations by ASI have been successful in recreating the king’s bedroom, hall, kitchen, assembly hall, public courtyard and guard’s rooms. The ruins have been declared a monument of national importance by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
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Located in the district of West Sikkim, the ruins lie on a ridge which offers a panoramic view of the dense forest and snow-capped mountains. The ruins can be accessed by a two km trek from Pelling. The bird park and the ruins are attractions that pull tourists to the town. A visit to this ancient city will take you back in time. The entire route towards Rabdentse is dotted with beautiful lakes, thick forest, exotic flora and rare orchids.
As you walk through the ruins of the city, you will come across three standing stones, which are called Namphogang. These stone thrones were used by judges during the glorious days of the city. The ruins of the palace lie in the center and commands a sweeping view of the entire south-west region of Sikkim. Next to the ruins of the palace lies the ‘Dab Lhagang’ where members of the royal family used to offer prayers to their deities.
The ruins in the town are a part of Buddhist pilgrimage that starts from Yuksom at Dubdi Monastery, goes on to Norbugang Chorten, Tashiding Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Sangachoeling Monastery and ends at the Khecheopalri Lake.
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