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History


Before the 16th century, numerous clans and noble families ruled in different valleys throughout Bhutan, quarrelling among them and with Tibet. This changed in 1616 with the arrival of Ngawang Namgyal, a monk of the Drukpa Kagyu school of Buddhism from Tibet. He taught throughout the region and soon established himself as the religious ruler of Bhutan with the title Shabdrung Rinpoche. He repelled attacks from rival lamas and Tibetan forces and transformed the southern valleys into a unified country called Druk Yul (Land of the Thunder Dragon). While the political system he established lasted until the beginning of the 20th century, the announcement of the Shabdrung’s death in 1705 was followed by 200 years of internal conflict and political infighting.

Birth of modern Bhutan and the path to democracy
Following the reigns of 54 temporal and 60 religious leaders, the Penlop of Trongsa, Jigme Namgyel, emerged as Bhutan’s strongest leader, having brought under control various civil wars. He was succeeded in 1881 by his dynamic son Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop of Paro. He went on to bring the entire nation under one rule ending generations of strife and conflict after the Shabdrung’s demise. 

Modern Bhutan is ruled by a hereditary monarchy established in 1907 with the birth of the Wangchuk Dynasty. In that year a historic assembly of clergy, representatives of the official administration, civil servants, and the people of Bhutan unanimously elected Ugyen Wangchuk as the first hereditary King of Bhutan. The reigns of the first two kings were politically stable. The third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, is fondly remembered as the Father of Modern Bhutan: he initiated planned development for the country, introduced dramatic changes and enhanced the Kingdom’s global role, making the country a member of the United Nations. 

In 1972, Jigme Singye Wangchuk became the fourth king of Bhutan and the youngest monarch in the world. With a strong emphasis on preserving Bhutan’s rich religious and cultural heritage and steered by the objective of Gross National Happiness, this popular King did a first class job of guiding the country into the 21st century. 

In late 2007 he indicated his intention to stand down in favour of his son, the Crown Prince, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and the coronation of the fifth king took place in November 2008. This followed on from the introduction of parliamentary democracy in March 2008 by way of the first national elections to elect a government – after a landslide victory Druk Phuensum Tshogpa became the ruling party and Lhenpo Jigme Thinley the Prime Minister. However the second round of elections which took place in July 2013 led to a change of fortune, with a swing back to the People’s Democratic Party who now have 32 seats to DPT’s 15 (a loss of 30 seats).

 

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Upcoming Festival Tours

Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Tour of the Dragon(Bicycle Race)5 Sept,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Tour of the Dragon(Bicycle Race)5 Sept,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Tour of the Dragon(Bicycle Race)5 Sept,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Tour of the Dragon(Bicycle Race)5 Sept,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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Tour of the Dragon(Bicycle Race)5 Sept,2016

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Thimphu Tsechu Festival on 11-13 Sept,2016

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Jomolhari Mountain Festival 7-8 October,2016

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Chha Festival 15-19 August,2016

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Jakar Tshechu Festival 6-10 Nov,2016

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HCR Car Rental Maui
" Dear Sonam, Thanks again for the fantastic tour; we had a great time in Bhutan. we had a wonderful time in Bhutan particularly the Tiger's Nest, were the most amazing we have seen anywhere in the world. The Buddhist culture and general happiness and serenity in everyone is evident everywher...

Korean Group
Jul 29, 2015