THE ROYAL HISTORY OF SIKKIM: A Chronicle of the House of Namgyal
As Narrated in Tibetan by THEIR HIGHNESSES CHOGYAL THUTOB NAMGYAL and GYALMO YESHE DOLMA, Based upon the Preliminary Translation by Kazi Dawasamdup
Corrected, Supplemented and Thoroughly Revised by John A. Ardussi Anna Balikci Denjongpa, and Per K. Sørensen
Under the Patronage of Her Majesty GYALYUM KESANG CHOEDEN WANGCHUCK Queen Mother to HM the Fourth King of Bhutan
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The Royal History of Sikkim was written in Tibetan at the turn of the 19th century by the then ruler, Chogyal Thutob Namgyal and his Tibetan Queen-consort Yeshe Dolma. It is a unique work of local history, presenting an alternative narrative to accounts of their Himalayan state written by contemporary British officials arguing the viewpoints of imperial India.
The small mountain kingdom of Sikkim was founded in the mid-17th century as an ethnically diverse Buddhist monarchy intimately tied to Tibet. The Royal History of Sikkim dramatically tells the story of how, over the following centuries, their country survived pressure from more powerful states on all sides. Finally, during the 19th century, Sikkim came within the protective orbit of British India, whose rulers would act on Sikkim’s behalf against its enemies only if the Chogyal adhered to their mandates to serve as a commercial gateway into Tibet.
A preliminary translation of this important work of Himalayan history was written in 1909 – 1910 by the Sikkimese scholar Kazi Dawasamdup, well-known to Tibet specialists. However, following the demise of the royal couple, and as political alliances changed, the original Tibetan manuscript was set aside until being first published in 2003. The English translation, meanwhile, was never completed or published until now.
The present book reflects the vision of Her Majesty Gyalyum Kesang Choeden Wangchuck of Bhutan, a grand-daughter of the authors, to see their history published in a modern English edition. The author-editors of this updated version acknowledge Her Majesty’s engagement and support.
33.7 x 25.7 x 6.8 cm, 634 pages, fully illustrated, maps (including a separate fold-out map of Sikkim), bibliography, index, hardcover, Serindia Publications, 2021. Printed in Italy.