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History

Located between two giant countries of India in the south and China in the North, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is popular worldwide for its philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

Bhutanese practice Mahayana Buddhism introduced by Guru Padmasambhava in the eighth century A.D. Buddhism has then been deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of the local people and can be witnessed in the daily lives and activities of the common Bhutanese.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, another important figure in Bhutanese history, came as a savior for the betterment of Bhutan. His visit and rule in the seventeenth century, put an end to the numerous civil wars fought by local kings, leaders and feudal lords. He successfully unified the country under his leadership and a dual system of administration was created whereby the rule of the country was divided between a religious and a political leader. It was during his time that the construction of dzongs, which served as religious, political and social centers, started.

From 1907 the country has been under the reign of the Wangchuck dynasty after the establishment of the Monarchy system of government. The King of Bhutan is formally known as the Druk Gyalpo -the dragon king. Since then, the country had no looking back as it stepped on the ladder of modernization and prosperity.

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan, ruled the country from 1972 to 2008 until his decision of abdicating the throne in favour of his son in 2008. Gross National Happiness is the brain child of His Majesty the king, a development philosophy appreciated and valued by nations across the world.

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the fifth and present King of the Kingdom of Bhutan and was officially crowned in 2008. The King married the Royal bride Azhi Jetsun Pema, in a much grandeur ceremony, on 13 October 2011 in Punakha Dzong. The country, under the reign of the much loved Wangchuck dynasty, has only known prosperity and happiness since the beginning.