Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon has been inhabited as early as 2000BC. The country lived for ages as an independent isolated nation between its two giant neighboring countries, India in the south and Tibet in the north. There are no authentic surviving history or record both orally or written regarding its inhabitant till 7th century AD, but there are evidence regarding its inhabitance from 2000 BC from the stone implementation found.
There are no surviving records, oral or written regarding the history of Bhutan but the history per se can be understood or found form 7th century AD. For further understanding of Bhutan, history it has to be linked with inextricably religious practice, figures, events, and the legends surrounds them. According to the legend, the recorded history of Bhutan begins in the seventh century when the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo, constructed its first two Buddhist temple in Bhutan – Kyechu Lhakhang in Paro and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang (central Bhutan). From this day onward, there were many activities with the visit of different religious leader from Tibet and India later on settled here in Bhutan. Thus, this proofs the clear history of Bhutan dating from seventh century.
There is no definitive version of how the country got its name - several names were given to described the country and most common reference is derived from Bhot-stand (the land of the Bhotias), Bootan or Bhotan (by the earlier British), Bhotanta (end of Tibet).Therefore, for centuries, the country around the world did not know of its existence and moreover, did not know her name. However, Bhutanese have always called their country as Druk-Yul the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” and called themselves as Drukpas.
In the eight century the enlightened tantric master Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) visited Bhutan at an invitation of Sindhu Gyeb (Sindhu Raja) and later made many visit to Bhutan, establishing several sacred sites and Buddhist teaching on the land, planting the seeds of a culture that thrives to this days. Over the years, many other Buddhist saints and religious leaders help shape Bhutan’s history and develop its religion. The most significant event in the history of Bhutan is considered to come from Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, who was originally from Tibet and came to Bhutan in 1616. He was the man lama who unified the scattered piece of Bhutan under a single authority. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel implemented the system of building dzong in Bhutan, also established the monastic schools, and later brought everything under his political system. He established the dual system of governmence where Druk Desi (regent) represents the temporal power and Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) a spiritual power. However, after the death of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel there was a struggle for the power and last until 1907, when Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk was anointed as the first king of Bhutan.
Bhutan has remained so far as an independent and isolated country for centuries because of its tiny size and less revered fames. Most of its geographical highland, such as rugged snowcapped mountains in the north and its deep forest with fast flowing rivers and malaria infested bushes in the southern foothills, prohibited foreign aliens and visitors to get into Bhutan. However, all this time, Bhutan choose to remain completely isolated and no contacts with the outside world.
When the powerful force of globalization and modernization appeared in the western world. The isolated independent nation of Bhutan shook to change under the kingship of His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan. The third king introduced the concept of modernization in 1950s and began it formal process of planning modernization in 1961. The land of the Thunder Dragon now stands on the thresholds of historical change. The fourth generation of monarch, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk after he was crown as the fourth king of Bhutan in 1974, beginning from his reign, the country began to open its doors to tourist. In 2006 he abdicated the throne in favor of his son King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, the fifth king, Bhutan began in the policy of democratic reforms. The very traditional monarchy gave a way for a dramatic transaction into a democratic constitutional monarchy
Throughout its process of evolution, today, Bhutan under the guidance of its values and priorities that have helped it to remain a unique country in a rapidly changing world through achieving carefully its modern development. Bhutan has proven itself to the world with all well equipped modern amenities and has proven to be one of the exotic tourist destination in the world. Bhutan hopes to survive by clinging on to the age-old values that rest of the world has lost. Bhutan has fewer than one million populations and by majority, more than 80% of populations are agrarian by profession. The Hydropower and the tourism forms the main income for the country with agricultural as a subsistence farming.
Today, buying cigarettes and consumptions of tobacco stuffs is illegal in Bhutan. Red rice and chilies are not only a seasonal but also the entire dish. Large painting of giant penises are painted on the walls or hanged from the roof with a belief of protections. Gross National Happiness is deemed more important that Gross National Products. Tourism is also unique in Bhutan where government has sets a unique tariff for visitors and get part of that
Area: 38,394 sq.km
Country Code: 975
Forest Coverage: 72.5%
State Religion: Mahayana Buddhism (Vajrayana Form)
Official Language: Dzongkha
Currency: Ngultrum (at par with the Indian Rupee)
Life Expectancy: 66 years