The dawn of Bhutan’s written history began only by the mid eighth century when the great Indian tantric Guru Padmasambhava (or the lotus born) visited Bhutan in 774 AD. He is largely credited to have been the key figure who introduced mainstream Buddhism into the country and the many temples and monasteries that exist in the country traces their origin to as far as his lineage.
The course of the country’s history took a massive turn when the revered Tibetan noble Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal came to Bhutan in the turn of the early seventeenth century AD (1616). The Zhabdrung is considered as the principle man who founded the nation state and introduced the dual system of governance, the state and the clergy, which is still the order of governance to this present day.
The establishment of the system of hereditary monarchy began only in 1907 when Sir Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned as the first hereditary monarch of the kingdom of Bhutan. Since then four generations of kings have ruled the country the present King being the Fifth.