Sikkim, a northeastern state of India, is a land of beautiful memories. With its stunning landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and vibrant culture, Sikkim offers a plethora of experiences that create lasting memories. From trekking in the Himalayas to savoring local cuisine, exploring ancient monasteries, and enjoying traditional festivals, Sikkim has something for everyone. The state's warm and hospitable people, coupled with its breathtaking natural beauty, make Sikkim an unforgettable destination for travelers.
SIKKIM ANCIENT HISTORY :
Sikkim has a rich and diverse history that dates back several centuries. The region was initially inhabited by various ethnic tribes, including the Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepalese. These tribes lived in relative isolation until the 17th century when Sikkim was united under the Namgyal dynasty.
During the reign of the Namgyal dynasty, Sikkim was an independent kingdom and maintained diplomatic relations with neighboring kingdoms such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. The Namgyal rulers were known for their patronage of Buddhism and built several monasteries and temples throughout the region.
In the 19th century, the British began to take an interest in Sikkim, and the kingdom came under their protection in 1861. This led to tensions with the neighboring Nepalese kingdom, which culminated in the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-1816. Sikkim also became a center for trade between India and Tibet, with the famous Silk Route passing through the region.
After India gained independence in 1947, Sikkim continued to be a protectorate of India until 1975 when it was integrated into the Indian Union as a state. The monarchy was abolished, and Sikkim became a democratic state.
Today, Sikkim is known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Its ancient monasteries, unique cuisine, and vibrant festivals continue to attract visitors from around the world.
Prince Palden Wangchuk was a member of the royal family of Sikkim and the eldest son of the last Chogyal (king) of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, and his wife, Hope Cooke.
Prince Palden Wangchuk was born on February 22, 1963, in Gangtok, Sikkim. He was educated at St. Joseph's College in Darjeeling and later at Loyola College in Chennai. In 1975, when the Indian government annexed Sikkim, Prince Palden Wangchuk's father was deposed, and the monarchy was abolished. The royal family was forced to leave the palace, and Prince Palden Wangchuk went into exile with his family.
In 1980, Prince Palden Wangchuk's younger brother, Crown Prince Namgyal Wangchuk, died in a helicopter crash, leaving Prince Palden Wangchuk as the heir to the Sikkim throne. Despite his status as a member of the deposed royal family, Prince Palden Wangchuk continued to work for the betterment of Sikkim. He was involved in various social and charitable organizations, including the Sikkim Olympic Association, the Sikkim Red Cross Society, and the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology.
In 1993, Prince Palden Wangchuk married an American, Leesha Harvey, and settled in New York City. He continued to work for the Sikkimese community, founding the Sikkimese-Nepali Cultural Center in New York and serving as the executive director of the Sikkim Foundation.
Prince Palden Wangchuk passed away on January 5, 2015, at the age of 51 due to a heart attack. He was survived by his wife and two children, Princess Ashi Dechen Yangzom Wangchuk and Prince Yeshi Dorji Wangchuk. His passing was mourned by the people of Sikkim, who remembered him as a beloved member of their community who worked tirelessly for their betterment.
Tripura jewelries are made of mainly bronze, silver and copper. The uniqueness of these jewelries is for the coin shaped designs. Coins of metals are made to form a necklace or earrings or anklets or even headbands. The coins are decorated with ancient cultural descriptions in art form such as a picture of Lord Shiva killing the cruel King Tripur.
SIKKIM ORNAMENTS :
A Lepcha male wears Thakro, a colourful sheet, yenthatse (shirt) and a shambo (cap).The Lepcha female dress comprises of Dumbun (a kind of sheet worn in sari style), Tago (loose blouse), Nyumrek (belt) and taro (cap). The beautiful ornaments used by the Lepcha women are Namchok (ear ring), Lyak (necklace), Gyar (bracelet) etc.
The attire of Bhutia male consists of Kho (Bakhu), Jya (waist coat), Yenthatse (shirt), Kera (cloth belt)and Shambo (cap).The Bhutia female dress are: kho (Bakhu), Hanju (loose blouse), Kushen(Jacket),Shambo (Cap different in design than used by men),and Shabcha(Shoe), Pangden, the striped apron is a symbol of married Bhutia women. The jewellery items used by the Bhutia women are known as Yencho (ear ring),Khao(necklace),Phiru (pearl ornament),Diu(gold bangle),and Joko (ring).
The Nepali men wears a shirt known as Daura, while their churidar pajama is known as shurval, the waist coat is known as Aaskot and their belt is known as Patuki.The colorful sari worn by a Nepali woman is known as Pharia, their long loose blouse tied from four side is known as Chaubandi Cholo,while another type of popular blouse is known as Jharo Cholo. A piece of printed cloth covering the upper portion of the body is known as Hembri, whereas a colorful piece hanging from the head to waist during a dance performance is known as “Pachauri’.The ornaments used by Nepali women are Shirbandi(Tiara),Kantha(Necklace),Nau-geri(Necklace of pearl),Charani hari(Another type of Necklace),Tilhari(Green bead with a Long gold pendantworn normally by married women), Bulaki (Nose- ring), Dungri (Nose-Pin), Tik Mala, chandrahar, Chepti Sun (Ear-Ring), Gadwari(Ear-Ring), Chura of silver (Bracelet) and Kalli, thivk heavy Payalmade of silver.
Traditional dress of Sikkim :
The traditional dress of Sikkim reflects the rich cultural heritage of the region. The attire is colorful, elegant, and practical, designed to withstand the harsh Himalayan climate.
The traditional dress for men in Sikkim is called the Bakhu, which is a knee-length robe made of woolen or silk fabric. The Bakhu is usually worn with a Kera, a long-sleeved shirt, and a traditional cap called the Dhaka topi. The Bakhu is adorned with intricate embroidery work, and the colors and patterns vary depending on the occasion.
For women, the traditional dress is called the Dumvum or Kho, which is a two-piece outfit comprising a full-sleeved blouse and a wraparound skirt. The skirt is made of woolen fabric and is embellished with colorful borders and intricate designs. The blouse is also decorated with embroidery work, and the colors and patterns of the outfit vary depending on the occasion.
Women also wear a traditional scarf called the Tharo or Khada, which is draped over the head and shoulders. The Tharo is usually made of silk and is adorned with intricate designs and patterns.
The traditional dress of Sikkim is an important aspect of the region's cultural identity, and it is worn on special occasions such as festivals, weddings, and other celebrations. While modern attire has become popular in urban areas, the traditional dress continues to be an integral part of Sikkimese culture and is still worn by many people, especially in rural areas.
MG. Marg Gangtok
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