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Bhutan
 
[Bhutan, first flag 1949-1956]
1949 - 1956
 
[Bhutan, second flag
                                    1956-1969]
1956 - 1969
 
[Bhutan
                                    flag]
Adopted 1969
(confirmed 8 Jun 1972)
Map of Bhutan
Hear National Anthem
"Druk tsendhen"
(The Thunder Dragon Kingdom)
Text of National Anthem
Adopted 1953
Constitution
(18 Jul 2008)
Capital: Thimphu
(Summer capital: Thimphu
 c.1636-1954;
Winter capital:
Punakha c.1636-1954)
Currencies: Ngultrum (BTN);
1928-1974 Bhutan Rupee (BTR);
1907-1974 Indian Rupee (INR)
National Holiday: 17 Dec (1907)
Gyalyong Duechen
(National Day)
Population: 766,397 (2018)
GDP: $2.53 billion (2017)
Exports: $194 million (2017)
Imports: $482 million (2017)
Ethnic groups: Bhote (Ngalops) 50%, ethnic Nepali
(predominantly Lhotshampas) 35%, Sharchops (and
indigenous
or migrant tribes) 15% (2005)
Total Active Armed Forces: 5,445 (2010)
Merchant marine: None (2017)
Salute (1867-1971): 15 guns
Religions: Vajrayana Buddhist 84.1%, Hindu 11.3%,
Shamanist/Animist 3.2%, other and unknown 1% (2015)
International Organizations/Treaties: ADB, AIIB (applicant), APA, APM, BIMSTEC, BTWC, CP, CWC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRC, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, IRENA, ISA (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, NPT, NTBT, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCLOS (signatory), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFCC, UNFCC-KP, UNFCC-PA, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Bhutan
Chronology

1189                       Druk Sewa Jangchubling monastery founded.
c.1626                     Bhutan founded, named
'Brug-yul (vernacular:
                             Druk-yul or 'Land of the Thunder Dragon').
1626 -  8 Jan 1910         Tributary of Tibet (which itself is under
                             suzerainty of China).
1730 - 1735                Partly divided in two with secession of Paro to
                             Kabji Dhondup.
25 Apr 1774                Bhutan agrees to return to its pre-1730 boundaries
                             by treaty with the British East India Company.
1838 - 1845                Divided into separate governments at Punakha
                             and Thimphu.
15 Mar 1864                Bhutan refuses British India protectorate.
11 Nov 1865 - 14 Aug 1947  Protectorate of British India (early spelling Bootan
                             and Bhootan).

11 Nov 1865 -  8 Aug 1949  Dewathang area ceded to India.
17 Dec 1907                Kingdom of Bhutan

 8 Jan 1910 - 14 Aug 1947  Protectorate of U.K. (under British India).
Jun 1911                   Granted hereditary salute of 15 guns (raised to 19
                             guns in Jun 1955, and 21 guns in 1963).
 2 Aug 1935                Government of India Act recognizes Bhutan's

                             autonomy from British India.
15 Aug 1947 - 21 Sep 1971  Protectorate of India (formally from 8 Aug 1949).

 
 
 
 
 
 

Spiritual Rulers and Heads of State (title Zhabs-drung Rin-po-che; vernacular: Shabdrun; Thuktrul; referred to by foreigners as 'Dharma Raja')
1616 - 1651                Ngawang Namgyal                    (b. 1594 - d. 1651)
1651 - 1689                Vacant
1689 - 1712                Kunga Gyaltshen
                   (b. 1689 - d. 1713)
1713 - 1730                Phyogla Namgyal                    (b. 1708 - d. 1736)
1730 - 1735                Jigme Norbu                        (b. 1717 - d. 1735)
1735 - 1738                Gongsa Mipham Wangpo           
    (b. 1709 - d. 1738)
1746 - 1761                Jigme Dragpa I                     (b. 1724 - d. 1761)
1762 - 1788                Choeki Gyaltshen                   (b. 1762 - d. 1788)
1791 - 1830                Jigme Dragpa II                    (b. 1791 - d. 1830)
1831 - 1861                Jigme Norbu                        (b. 1831 - d. 1861)
1862 - 1904                Jigme Chogyal                      (b. 1862 - d. 1904)
1905 - 11 Nov 1931         Thugtrul Jigme Dorji               (b. 1905 - d. 1931)
                             

Regents (title 'Brug sDe-srid Phyag-mdzod; vernacular: Druk Desi;
referred to by foreigners as 'Deb Raja')

1656 - 1667                La Ngonpa Tenzin Drugdra           (b. 1602 - d. 1667)
1667 - 1680                Chogyal Migyur Tenpa               (b. 1613 - d. 1681)
                             (= Damcho Lhundrup)
1680 - 1694                Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay               (b. 1638 - d. 1696)
1694 - 1701                Gedun Chophel                      (b. 16.. - d. 1701)
1701 - 1703                Ngawang Tshering (= Depa Drungyi)
1703 - 1707                Samten Tenzin (= Ön Paljor)
1707 - 1719                Druk Rabgay                        (d. c.1729)
1720 - 1729                Geshey Ngawang Gyatsho             (d. 1729)
1729 - 1736                Gongsa Mipham Wangpo               (s.a.)
1736 - 1740                Akhu Paljor (= Zimpon Paljor)
1740 - 1744                Ngawang Gyaltshen
1744 - 1763                Chogyal Sherab Wangchuk
                             (= Mewang Sithub)
1763 - 1765                Druk Phuntsho (= Tenzin Drukda)
1765 - 1768                Druk Tenzin I
1768 - 1773                Donam Lhundub (= Zhidar)           (d. 1773)
1773 - 1776                Kunga Rinchen
1776 - 1789                Jigme Singye                       (b. 1742 - d. 1789)
1789 - 1792                Druk Tenzin II (= Sangay Tenzin)
1792                       Umdze Chapchab                     (d. 1792)
1792 - 1796                Tashi Namgyal (1st time)           (d. 1805)
                             (= Sonam Gyaltshen)
1796 - 1803                Druk Namgyal
1803 - 1805                Tashi Namgyal (2nd time)           (s.a.)
                             (= Sonam Gyaltshen)
1805 (months)              Sangay Tenzin
1805 - 1807                Umdze Paropa
1807 - 1808                Pema Chodra (= Ön se Tshering)
1808 - 1809                Tshulthrim Dragpa                  (b. 1790 - d. 1820)
1809 - 1810                Jigme Dragpa II                    (s.a.)
1810 - 1811                Sungtrul Ngawang Yeshe Gyaltshen   (b. 1782 - d. 1830)
1812 (months)              Tshaphugpa Dorji (= Dorji Dragpa)  (d. 1812)
1812 - 1817                Sonam Drugyal                      (b. 1777 - d. 18..)
1817 - 1822                Tenzin Drugdra                     (b. 1774 - d. 18..)
1822 - 1831                Phurgyal Lam Choki Gyaltshen       (b. 1774 - d. 18..)
                             (1st time)
1831 - 1833                Dorji Namgyal                      (b. 1774 - d. 188.)    
1833 - 1835                Thrinley
1835 - 1838                Phurgyal Lam Choki Gyaltshen       (s.a.)
                             (2nd time)
1838 - 1848                Dorji Norbu (at Punakha)           (b. 1800 - d. 18..)
1848 - 1850                Tashi Dorji (at Thimphu)           (b. 1828 - d. 1850)    
1850 - 1851                Wangchuk Gyalpo                    (b. 1800 - d. 1851)
1850                       Jigme Norbu (at Thimphu)           (b. 1831 - d. 1861)
1850 - 1851                Chakpa Sangay (at Punakha)         (d. 1851)
28 Jan 1852 - 1855         Damcho Lhendup
                             (= Dorji Lopen Barchung)
1854 - 1855                Jamtrul Jamyang Tenzin             (d. 1855)
1855 - 1861                Kuenga Palden (at Punakha)         (d. 1861)
                             (= Sonam Tobgay)
1857 - 1857                Sherab Tharchen (at Thimphu)       (d. 1857)
                             (= Uma Dewa)
1861 - 1863                Phuntsho Namgyal
                             (= Nagzi Passang)
1863 - 1864                Tshewang Sithub (1st time)
1863 (months)              Tsulthrim Yonten                   (d. 1863)
                             (appointed by Je Yonten Gyaltshen,
                             in opposition to  Tshewang Sithub)
1863 (months)              Kargyud Wangchuk
1864 (months)              Tsondu Padkar
1864 - 1870                Tshewang Sithub (2nd time)

1870 - 1873                Gongsa Jigme Namgyal "Deb Nagpo"   (b. 1825 - d. 1881)
                             ("Black Regent")(1st time)
1873 - 1877                Kitsep Dorji Namgyal (1st time)    (d. 1879)
1877                       Chogle Yeshe Ngodup (at Punakha)   (b. 1851 - d. 1917)
                             (in opposition, appointed by Dzongpön Ngodup)
1877 - 1878                Gongsa Jigme Namgyal "Deb Nagpo"   (s.a.)
                             (2nd time)
1878 - 1879                Kitsep Dorji Namgyal (2nd time)    (s.a.)
Mar 1879 - Jun 1880        Chogyal Zangpo                     (b. 18.. - d. 1880)

1880 - Jul 1881            Gongsa Jigme Namgyal "Deb Nagpo"   (s.a.)
                             (3rd time)
1881 - May 1883            Lama Tshewang                      (b. 1836 - d. 1883)

16 May 1883 - 23 Aug 1885  Gawa Zangpo
1885 - 1903                Sangye Dorji                       (b. 1839 - d. 1903)
1903 - 1906                Chogle Yeshe Ngodup                (s.a.)
Kings (title Druk Gyalpo, until 1963 also Maharaja)¹
17 Dec 1907 - 21 Aug 1926  Sir Ugyen Wangchuk                 (b. 1861 - d. 1926)
21 Aug 1926 - 30 Mar 1952  Jigme Wangchuk                     (b. 1906 - d. 1952)
                            
(from 3 Jun 1930, Sir Jigme Wangchuk)
30 Mar 1952 - 21 Jul 1972  Jigme Dorji Wangchuk               (b. 1929 - d. 1972)
22 Apr 1972 - 21 Jul 1972  Queen Ashi Kesang Choden           (b. 1930)
                             Wangchuck (f) -Regent
21 Jul 1972 - 14 Dec 2006  Jigme Singye Wangchuk              (b. 1955)
14 Dec 2006 -              Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk      (b. 1980)
 

Chief ministers (title Trongsa Pönlop)
1853 - 1866               
Gongsa Jigme Namgyal               (s.a.)
1866 - 1872                Dungkar Gyaltshen
Chief ministers (title Gongzim)

1872 - 1873                Kitshelpa Dorji Namgyal            (s.a.)
18.. - 1885                Tandin Ngodup
1886 - 1907                Ugyen Wangchuk                     (s.a.)               Non-party
                             (from 2 Jan 1905, Sir Ugyen Wangchuk)
1907 - 22 Jun 1916         Ugyen Dorji                        (b. 1855 - d. 1916)  Non-party
                             (from 11 Dec 1911, Raja Ugyen Dorji)   
1917 - 24 Jun 1953         Raja Sonam Tobgay Dorji            (b. 1896 - d. 1953)  Non-party
1953 - 1958                Jigme Palden Dorji                 (b. 1919 - d. 1964)  Non-party
Prime ministers
1958 -  5 Apr 1964         Jigme Palden Dorji                 (s.a.)               Non-party
 5 Apr 1964 - 25 Jul 1964  Vacant
25 Jul 1964 - 27 Nov 1964  Dasho Lhendup Dorji (acting)       (b. 1935 - d. 2007)  Non-party
27 Nov 1964 - 20 Jul 1998  Post abolished
20 Jul 1998 -  9 Jul 1999  Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley (1st time)    (b. 1952)            Non-party
 9 Jul 1999 - 20 Jul 2000  Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup (1st time)    (b. 1953)            Non-party
20 Jul 2000 -  8 Aug 2001  Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba (1st time)     (b. 1952)            Non-party
 8 Aug 2001 - 14 Aug 2002  Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk (1st time)  (b. 1950)            Non-party
14 Aug 2002 - 30 Aug 2003  Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji (1st time)    (b. 1951)            Non-party
30 Aug 2003 - 18 Aug 2004  Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley (2nd time)    (s.a.)               Non-party
18 Aug 2004 -  5 Sep 2005  Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba (2nd time)     (s.a.)               Non-party
 5 Sep 2005 -  7 Sep 2006  Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup (2nd time)    (s.a.)               Non-party
 7 Sep 2006 - 31 Jul 2007  Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk (2nd time)  (s.a.)               Non-party
31 Jul 2007 -  9 Apr 2008  Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji (2nd time)    (s.a.)               Non-party
 9 Apr 2008 - 28 Apr 2013  Lyonchen Jigmi Thinley (3rd time)  (s.a.)               DPT
28 Apr 2013 - 27 Jul 2013  Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye                (b. 1949)            Non-party
                             (chief advisor)
27 Jul 2013 -  9 Aug 2018  Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay           (b. 1965)            PDP
                             (1st time)
 9 Aug 2018 -  7 Nov 2018  Dasho Tshering Wangchuk                                 Non-party
                             (chief advisor)
 7 Nov 2018 - 
1 Nov 2023  Lyonchhen Lotay Tshering           (b. 1968)            DNT
 1 Nov 2023 - 28 Jan 2024  Lyonpo Chogyal Dago Rigdzin                             Non-party
                             (chief advisor)
28 Jan 2024 -              Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay          (s.a.)               PDP
                             (2nd time)            

British Bhutan Agent
1897 -  8 Jan 1910         Ugyen Dorji                        (s.a.)       
British Political Officers

 8 Jan 1910 - 14 Aug 1947  the Political Officers in Sikkim
Indian Political Officers
15 Aug 1947 - 23 Jan 1968  the Political Officers in Sikkim
Indian Special Officer

23 Jan 1968 - 21 Sep 1971  Brijbir Saran Das                  (b. 1925 - d. 2016)

 ¹style of the rulers: 'Brug rGyal-po, Mi-rje-mha'-bdag Rin-po-che (vernacular: Druk Gyalpo); was styled Maharaja in communications with British and Indian authorities 1907-1963.

Territorial Disputes: Lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lie in Bhutan's northwest and along the Chumbi salient.

Party abbreviations (political parties prohibited 1953-2007): DNT = Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (’brug nyam-rub tshogs-pa = Bhutan United Party, social-democratic, center-left, est.20 Jan 2013); DPT = Druk Phuensum Tshogpa ('brug phun-sum tshog-pa = Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, conservative, royalist, center-right, merger of All People's Party and Druk People's Unity Party, est.25 Jul 2007); PDPPeople's Democratic Party (mi-ser dmangs-gtsoi tshogs-pa, liberal, progressive, royalist, centrist, est.24 Mar 2007)




© Ben Cahoon