A GLIMPSE OF BHUTAN HISTORY
The country was originally known by many names in the past. These names give some description of the country, for instance: Ridragi Yuel (the country of mountainous terrain), Menjong Norbui Ling (the precious land of medicinal herbs), Tsenden Jong (land of cypress) and Mon Kha Zhi (land of four approaches). The country came to be known as Druk Yul or The Land of the Drukpas sometime in the 17th century. The name refers to the Drukpa sect of Buddhism that has been the dominant religion in the region since that period. For the outside world, the country is known as Bhutan which may have been derived from the Sanskrit word Bhu-uttan, meaning high land.
After the establishment of monarchy, Bhutan enjoyed unprecedented peace, prosperity and progress under the able and benevolent leadership of the Wangchuck kings. In retrospect, no better choice could have been made for the leadership of the country than the Wangchuck dynasty.
However, in 2008 Bhutan enacted its Constitution and transformed to a democracy in order to better safeguard the rights of its citizens. Later in November of the same year, the current monarch, the 5th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned. Buddhism was introduced in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo and further strengthened by the arrival of Guru Rimpoche in 8thcentury BC. The country was first unified in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. After arriving in Bhutan from Tibet, he consolidated his power, defeated three Tibetan invasions and established a comprehensive system of law and governance. His system of rule eroded after his death and the country fell into in-fighting and civil war between the various local rulers. This continued until the Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchuck was able to gain control and with the support of the people to establish himself as Bhutan’s first hereditary King in 1907. His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck became the first Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and set up the Wangchuck Dynasty that still rules today.