Photography salute to first two - Sikkim exhibition of father-son's Chogyal photos

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  • Published 25.08.12

Gangtok, Aug. 24: Off-season tourists to Sikkim have found a way to spend their time by browsing through a photography exhibition in tribute to the first two photographers of Sikkim, Tse Ten Tashi and his son Paljor Dorji.

There are around 200 photographs on display at the Star Hall premises on MG Marg, including 20 photographs taken between 1940-75 by Tashi and Dorji during the Chogyal (Sikkimese King) regime.

“The photo exhibition is dedicated to the first two photographers of Sikkim, Tse Ten Tashi and Paljor Dorji. They were pioneers in their field and were also close to the royal family of Sikkim,” said the president of the Vividh Kala Akademi, Kiran Rasaily.

Tse Ten Tashi served as the private secretary to Chogyal king Tashi Namgyal, crown prince Paljor Namgyal and Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal in 1963. He was also conferred one of the highest honours, Pema Dorji, in recognition of distinguished service rendered to the Sikkim Darbar.

Tse Ten Tashi was also the first person to set up a photography studio in Sikkim. He passed on his legacy to his son Paljor Dorji.

Dorji was a former secretary to the last Chogyal king of Sikkim. He was a prolific photographer and built a huge collection of photographs on mountains, chortens, monasteries, landscapes, flora, and fauna.

The exhibition has been jointly organised by Vividh Kala Academy and the Journalist Union of Sikkim and is on till September 2. Around 10 amateur photographers from Sikkim have also displayed their photographs in the exhibition.

“The tourists are very excited about the old photographs taken between 1940 to 1975. Most of them, like the photos of the Chinese and Sikkimese army at Nathu-la, were taken in the mid-sixties,” said the treasurer of the Journalist Union of Sikkim, Pravin Rai.

“We thought we would visit Changu Lake and Baba Mandir but the route is closed and no permits are being issued. Looking at the old photographs of Sikkim is a new experience” said Tanmoy Raha, a tourist from Calcutta.