History of Bhutan

Bhutan was known in ancient times by several other names; Lho Mon Khazhi – Southern Mon country of four entrances or mouths, Lho Tsheden Jong – Southern valleys of the sandal-wood, Lho Men Jong – Southern valley of medicinal herpes, Lho Jong – Southern valley, and Lho Yul – Southern land. ‘Lho’ means ‘south’ and it’s the prefixed to all names as the country situated in the southern range of the Himalayas. The name Bhutan is derived from the Sanskrit word Bhu-Uttan which means ‘High Lander’. After the arrival of the great scholar, Lama Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel from Tibet in the 1616 A.D, the country came to be known as ‘Druk Yul’, the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Buddhism in Bhutan was introduced in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtshen Gampo with the establishment of Kyichu and Jambay Lhakhang at Paro and Bumthang districts respectively. Later, the great Master Guru Rimpoche and great saints like Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel further strengthened the religion in Bhutan.

The country was first unified in 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and he consolidated his power, defeated three Tibetan invasions and established himself as the head of both civil administrator and religious. Even he codified the comprehensive system of law and order in Bhutan.

After the death of Zhabdrung, again Bhutan came to the civil wars among local leaders of different region till the Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchuk was crowned as a first hereditary King of Bhutan on 17th December, in the year 1907.  In 2008, in order to have better safeguard and rights of its citizen, Bhutan enacted Constitutional Democracy Monarchy where Druk Gyalpo the King is the head of the monarchy and Prime Minister is the head of the Democracy.

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