Bhutan Information

Bhutan's history is based on ancient stone implements found in various regions. It appears that the region was initially inhabited as early as 2000 BC. In all probability these were nomadic herders who lived in the low-lying areas in winter and moved to the alpine meadows in summer and this practice is still followed today. There are no surviving records, oral or written, of this period and history, can only authenticate from the seventh century AD.


The visit of Guru Padmasambhava and other Buddhists saints and scholars from India and Tibet marked the medieval Bhutan. Emergence of ruling clans and development of arts and architecture were also seen during this period.


Bhutan's history started in the seventh century when the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo,constructed its first two Buddhist temples,Kyichu in Paro valley and Jambay Lhakhang in the Choekhor Valley in Bumthang. Till this time, like other parts of the Himalayan region, the people here followed an animistic religion.


Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a leader of the Drukpa sect, came to Bhutan in 17th century. He introduced the dual system of Government and for the first time some degree of stability was maintained, which was unseen before, but this did not last long. After Ngawang Namgyal's death, successors became victims of intrigues and rivalries. The instability continued till the early 20th century.


The country's modern period began with the establishment of monarchy in Bhutan. The powerful Bhutanese Chief, Ugyen Wangchuk was crowned as the first hereditary ruler of Bhutan in 1907. The country's self-imposed policy of isolation continued till the reign of the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. He decided to shed this age-old policy and introduced the country to the outside world, bringing the country into the international mainstream.