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Bhutan History Timeline

Bhutan's Information

Flag of Bhutan
Land Area 38,394 km2
Total Area 38,394km2 (#133)
Population 750,125 (#164)
Population Density 19.54/km2
Government Type Constitutional Monarchy
GDP (PPP) $6.43 Billion
GDP Per Capita $8,100
Currency Ngultrum (BTN)
More Information Bhutan
Largest Cities
600 - 660
  • (600-650) Parts of Bhutan under Indian control
  • (627-649) King Srongtsen Gampo introduced Buddhism, ordered construction of two temples
  • (659) Kyichu Lhakhang monastery built
800 - 1400
  • (807) Indian Buddhist sage, Guru Padmasambhava, visited Bhutan
  • (809) Independence monarchies developed
  • (824) King Tritsun Desten went to war and drove out Indian ruler in Bhutan
  • (836) King Tritsun Desten murdered by agents of his brother
  • (1000) Tibetan-Mongol forces occupied Bhutan
  • (1360) Tibetan Gelugpa monks fled to Bhutan
1600 - 1800s
  • (1616) Tibetan Buddhist lama, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, facing arrest in Tibet, established new base in Bhutan
  • (1629) Invasion by Tibet failed
  • (1631) Second invasion by Tibet failed
  • (1634) Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal prevailed in Battle of Five Lamas over Tibetan and Bhutanese forces; first to unite Bhutan into single country
  • (1643) Mongol-Tibetan forces intruded, defeated in Bhutan lowlands
  • (1651) Shabdrung Ngawang Namgya died; death kept secret for 54 years to keep Bhutan from disintegrating
  • (1680) Bhutan invaded Sikkim
  • (1714) Tibetan and Mongol forces invaded Bhutan, failed to gain control
  • (1772) British forces drove Bhutanese garrisons out of Cooch Behar, a Bhutanese dependency
  • (1774) Treaty of Peace signed with British East India Company. Bhutan returned to pre-1730 boundaries, British allowed to harvest timber in Bhutan
  • (1784) British turned over control of Bengal Duars territory to Bhutan
  • (1838) Bhutan rejected British treaty offer of debt settlement
  • (1841) British annexed Assam Duars, paid annual compensation to Bhutan
  • (1842) Bhutan ceded control of Bengal Duars to Britain
  • (1862) Forces from Bhutan raided Sikkim, Cooch Behar; British withheld compensation payments, demanded release of captives and return of stolen property
  • (1864) Peace mission sent to Bhutan by Britain was rejected
  • (1864) Duar War took place - Britain declared war on Bhutan, Bhutan was defeated, ceded significant amount of territory in Treaty of Sinchula
  • (1885) Governor of Trongsa put down civil unrest in Bhutan, consolidated power, cultivated close ties with British Indi
1900s
  • (1907) Ugyen Wangchuck elected Bhutan's first hereditary ruler after politically unifying the country
  • (1910) Treaty of Punakha gave Britain control over Bhutan's foreign relations
  • (1947) British left India and ended direct political control over Bhutan
  • (1949) India and Bhutan signed Treaty of Peace and Friendship agreeing Bhutan would be guided by India in foreign policy
  • (1949) India ceded to Bhutan some of the territories lost to Britain in 1865 Treaty of Sinchula
  • (1952) King Jigme Sangchuck died, succeeded by son Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
  • (1952) National Assembly established, post of Chief Minister abolished
  • (1958) Slavery was abolished
  • (1959) Chinese annexed Bhutanese enclaves in western Tibet, several thousand refugees given asylum in Bhutan
  • (1964) Prime Minister Dorji assassinated
  • (1964) Post of Prime Minister abolished until 1998
  • (1965) Unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck occurred
  • (1966) Capital moved from Punakha to Thimphu
  • (1968) Council of Ministers established, High Court created to review King's decisions, Bank of Bhutan founded
  • (1971) Bhutan joined United Nations
  • (1972) King Jigme Dori Wangchuck died, succeeded by his son Jigme Singye Wangchuck
  • (1986) Law passed granting citizenship based on length of residence in Bhutan
  • (1988) Following a census, government evicted illegal immigrants
  • (1989) Nepoli ceased to be the language of instruction in schools


Bhutan Trivia

What is the capital of Bhutan?

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan.

What Is The Capital Of Bhutan?

What Languages are Spoken in Bhutan?

The Sino-Tibetan language of Dzongkha serves as the mother tongue of the Bhutanese people residing in eight western districts of the country. The language is used in government administration and as the medium of instruction in Bhutan’s schools. The language uses the Tibetan alphabet for writing.

Which Languages Are Spoken in Bhutan?

Who Administers The Doklam Plateau?

Doklam Plateau is a disputed patch of land at the junction of Tibet (China), Sikkim (India), and Bhutan.

Who Administers The Doklam Plateau?

What are the Ecological Regions of Bhutan?

The ecological regions in Bhutan are divided into six Biomes including tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands.

Ecological Regions Of Bhutan

What is the biggest city in Bhutan?

Thimpu is the Kingdom of Bhutan’s largest and capital city. Around 115,000 people live in the city.

Biggest Cities And Towns In Bhutan

Who Was the First Prime Minister of Bhutan?

Jigme Thinley was the first prime minister of Bhutan, holding office between 1998 and 1999.

Prime Ministers of Bhutan

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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