Photograph including the 8th Chogyal of Sikkim

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Name: Bell, Charles Alfred
Date of birth: 1870-10-31
Date of death: 1945-03-08
Biography: Diplomat and Tibetologist
Description: Charles Alfred Bell was born in Calcutta, India, on 31 October 1870 to Henry and Anne Bell. As one of six children he would eventually follow in his father's footsteps and take up a post in the Indian Civil Service (ICS). Bell first studied at Winche... more
Relationship: Collector

Name: Namgyal, Thutob
Date of birth: 1860
Date of death: 1914-02-11
Biography: 9th Chogyal of Sikkim
Description: Maharaja Thutob Namgyal was born in 1860, the fifth and youngest son of Maharaja Tsugphud Namgyal and Maharani Menchi.
He succeeded to the Gadi of Sikkim in 1874 following the death of his half brother Sidkyong Namgyal. He was crowned at Chumbi, the summer residence of the Sikkim kings.
He married three times:
• 1874: His half brother Sidkyong Namgyal’s widow Pending.
They had three issues:
Daughter Namgyal Dumo, born 1876
Son Tsotra Namgyal, born 1878
Son Sidkyong Tulku, born 1879 (Avatar Kumar)
• 1888: Maharani Yeshe Dolma of the Lhading family of Tibet.
They had three issues:
Daughter Kunzang Wangmo, born 1889
Son Tashi Namgyal, born 1893
Daughter Choni Wangmo, born 1896
• 1912: Kezangla, younger sister of Maharani Yeshe Dolma. No children.

Thutob Namgyal and Maharani Yeshe Dolma were exiled to British India for three years from 1893-1895, being detained at Kurseong and Darjeeling. The first British Political Officer, John Claude White became the virtual ruler of Sikkim in the interim period. During this period, Claude White, along with Khangsa Dewan and Phodong Lama encouraged large scale settlement of Nepalese in different areas of Sikkim.

Thutob Namgyal returned to Sikkim in 1895 as undisputed ruler. He shifted his capital from Tumlong to Gangtok.
He provided a labour corps, interpreters and guides to the Younghusband Mission to Tibet in 1903-04. In 1911 he attended the Imperial Coronation Durbar at Delhi and was created a K.C.I.E by His Majesty the King Emperor and was granted a hereditary salute of 15 guns.
He died on 11 February 1914.

During Sidkyong Namgyal’s reign, the annual payment of Rs.6000/- for the rent of Darjeeling which had been cut off by the British was again renewed, increased to Rs.9000/- in 1869 and thence further to Rs.12,000/- in 1873.

Written by Anna Balikci, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Sikkim.

Relationship: sitter

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