At the beginning of the 19th century, Chogyal Thutob Namgyal and his Tibetan Queen-consort Yeshe Dolma wrote the Royal History of Sikkim in Tibetan. It is a distinctive work of local history that offers a different perspective from the narratives of their Himalayan kingdom that were produced by British officials at the time who argued the opinions of imperial India.
The tiny mountain kingdom of Sikkim was established in the middle of the 17th century as a Buddhist monarchy with strong ties to Tibet and a wide range of ethnic groups. The Royal History of Sikkim vividly depicts how their nation withstood pressure from more strong states on all sides during the ensuing centuries. Finally, Sikkim entered the protective sphere of British India during the 19th century. However, the authorities of British India would only defend Sikkim from its adversaries if the Chogyal followed their orders to operate as a trade gateway into Tibet.
The Sikkimese scholar Kazi Dawasamdup, well-known to Tibet experts, wrote a rough translation of this significant classic of Himalayan history between 1909 and 1910. However, once the royal couple passed away and as political allegiances shifted, the original Tibetan manuscript was shelved until it was first made public in 2003. Meanwhile, the English translation was never finished or released until now.
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