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History of Bhutan

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History of Bhutan


In 747 AD the great Tantric mystic Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan. Since then Buddhism plays a predominant role in guiding social, political and cultural developments in the country. The temples and monasteries dating back to the 8th century, still stand today.

Much later, in 1616 Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal arrived in Bhutan from Tibet. He introduced the Drukpa Kagyu School in Bhutan. He repelled many attacks by Tibetan forces, built many impregnable Dzongs and unified the country. He is also known as the Father Unifyer of medieval Bhutan.

In 1651 Shabdrung introduced the Deb Raja Cabinet form of government known as Chosi Nydhen and handed over the temporal rule to The Druk Desi who was to be appointed by the cabinet consisting of nine senior members. Over the period of two centuries from 1651 to 1906, The Druk Desi cabinet did not functioned well which resulted in a chaotic political situation in the country. There were many internal problems and no strong ruler to bring the political issues to order.

In 1907 as predicted by Guru Rinpoche, Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuk, the great and strong ruler was elected. He unified the country again under a hereditary monarchy system. Since then, under the dynamic rules of kings, the kingdom of the thunder dragon has grown in strength and stability. All kings did their best for the people and only adopted rules which fit the people and transformed many things which benefit the citizens.

The second King Jigme Wangchuk (1926-1952) brought more political stability and peace. The third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1952-1972) called Father of modern Bhutan, brought many changes for the citizens of Bhutan. He opened many schools, hospitals, built roads and joined in United Nations. The fourth King Jigme Singye, King of compassion, was only 17 years old when he took over this great responsibility from his late father. For the Bhutanese people he is everything, God or leader. He too brought many changes and made the life of the citizens easier and comfortable by integrating modern technology without ignoring or cutting the traditional and cultural values. The fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, King of people, is well educated like his father. He is easily reachable by every citizen for any kind of problem and shares his time with his people. He additionally puts great emphasise on values such as anticorruption and Gross National Happiness propounded by his father.

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