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Kabi – A Small Town of Great Historical Significance
Getting Familiar with Kabi-The holy place of Kabi is located in the northern region of Sikkim at a distance of nearly 17 kms from the capital city of Gangtok. The place is of great historical significance as the legendary Blood Brotherhood treaty got signed between the Lepcha and Bhutia communities here during the period of 15th century. This densely forested area is situated near Phodong on the Highway North Sikkim and is known for its natural beauty rich with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The area is abundant with streams of sparkling water and roaring waterfalls. In addition, the area is also popular as the home of different bird's species which include the Rufous-necked Hornbill, Crested Serpent eagle, Pariahkite, shahhen falcon, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Aceros nipalensis, and also Grey-crowned Prinia, etc
The History of Lepchas and Bhutias-The Lepchas are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim, who lead a peaceful and religious life in this hilly region. It was only during the 15th century that they elected Tur ve pa no as their first ruler. He was succeeded by three more rulers, before the Lepchas started to elect their leader in a democratic manner, whose advice was sought in all significant matters.
It was during this time that a significant number of Tibetans migrated to Sikkim, primarily d to escape the consequences of the ongoing clashes between the two major sects of the specific Tibetan Buddhist community. These migrants came to be known as Bhutias, who soon acquired considerable land in the region predominantly because of their aggressive nature and enterprising quality also due to the docile attitude of Lepcha people. They also succeeded in converting a good number of Lepchas into Buddhists, despite the consistent aloofness and reserved nature of the natives.
Treaty of the Blood Brotherhood-This historic treaty was signed between the Lepchas, the native people of Kabi and the Bhutias, the migrants from Sikkim, in the 15th century. The Lepchas were represented by their chief Thekong Tek while the Bhutias chief Khye Bumsa, represented his community. The treaty was made to ensure that the Khye Bhumsa, who was soon to become the King of Sikkim, would treat both his Lepcha and Bhutia subjects equally. It was also way of strengthening the bond of eternal brotherhood between the people of the two communities.
The Current Scenario-Even today the area where the treaty was signed is considered sacred by the people of both the communities. An annual puja known as the Siqueok Puja is held on the 15th day of the ninth month of Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to the month of October according to the English calendar. The puja is performed with much reverence by Lamas and Bongthings and is essentially aimed at thanking the Gods for good harvest besides seeking their blessings for sustaining the brotherhood between two different communities.
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