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Bhutan’s History - the Establishment of the Kingdom of Bhutan

10 May 2022 last updated at 17:21 0 Comments

Bhutan has been a part of the Tubo Kingdom since the 7th century AD. And at that time, Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo introduced Buddhism to Bhutan with the construction of the first two temples: Kiychi Lhakhang in Paro and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang.

Then, in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian Buddhist master, was invited by most local tribal chiefs to visit Bhutan twice. He was the theology teacher at Nalanda College and a Buddhist scholar of the Mahayana school back then. After his first visit to Bhutan, he went to Tibet, China to preach and teach. Then he returned to Bhutan and established a missionary center in Bumthang to continue his missionary work in Bhutan, which led to the rapid development of Buddhism in this country. After the 12th century, the Drukpa Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism gradually began to wield secular power in Bhutan.

Bhutan National FlowerBhutan National Flower

in 1616, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel arrived in Bhutan and defeated various sects successively. After nearly 20 years, he completely ruled this area and became the famous first Shabdrung. Then, in order to govern the country, he took full advantage of his knowledge of the Chinese Tibetan Buddhist administration system to establish the Bhutanese religious organization and hierarchy. He successfully became the king himself and formed a dual monastic and secular theocratic government. After the death of Ngawang Namgyel, there was a fierce power struggle between the church and the state, and the separation of the church and the state began.

In 1907, the secular class led by Ugyen Wangchuk took the reins and established the Kingdom of Bhutan. He became the first hereditary King of Bhutan.

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