History

So where is Bhutan?

We are sure that you may have heard for 1000 or more times that Bhutan is a small country between two enormous giants China and India. Well, let’s make it for 1001 times and more.

With a population of 735,553 and a country of 38394 sq km size, Bhutan is a Buddhist country. The settlements in Bhutan have been traced as early as 2000 B.C.

During the time Bhutan was known after many names such as the following

  • ‘Lho Jong’(The Valley of South)
  • ‘Lho Mon Kha Shi’(The Southern Mon Country of Four approaches)
  • ‘Lho Jong Men Jong’(The Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs),
  • ‘Lho Mon Tsenden Jong’ (The Southern Mon Valleys of Sandlewood) and many more.

Before the arrival of Buddhism in Bhutan, people practiced Bonism as their religion. Bonism is a religion that worships spirits, stones and trees and believes in sacrifices.

Back then in absence of a strong rule, Bhutan was ruled by territorial feudal lords. The feudal lord in power kept on switching depending on outcome of local wars fought.

The history took a turn when Zhabdrung Ngwang Namgyel came to Bhutan in 1616 A.D. Zhabdrung was not only a religious Buddhist figure, but he was the first person to establish the earliest form of unified order in the country. Under his leadership, Bhutan survived three Tibetan Invasions and he started ‘Desi System’ and distributed power among lords in power.

Later in 17th century, the country was known as the, ‘The Land of Drukpas’ and Buddhism found its strong roots in Bhutan with the coming of Zhabdrung and many other eminent saints.

However after Zhabdrung’s death in 17th century, the country was in chaos and found itself torn between constant civil wars until Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchhuk emerged as the victorious one. Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchuk officially became the first king of Bhutan in 1907.

Wangchhuk Dynasty is the only Royal Family in the country. The current Druk Gyalpo (King of Bhutan) Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchhuk was crowned in the year2008.

In 2008, on the command of His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Bhutan from ‘absolute monarchy’ changed into ‘democratic constitutional monarchy’, as to ensure prevalence of happiness and safety of its citizens.

If Bhutan is what it is today, it is because of our kind, visionary and dynamic kings…who have always been the champion of people’s causes.

Till date our wondrous king and our government rule hand in hand for a better Bhutan.