Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781908323583 Published September 2014 For sale in North America only
E-book $40.00 to $50.00 ISBN: 9781908323590 Published August 2014

The History of Bhutan

Karma Phuntsho

The History of Bhutan

Karma Phuntsho

Distributed for Haus Publishing

661 pages | 35 color plates, 1 map | 6 1/5 x 9 1/2 | © 2013
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781908323583 Published September 2014 For sale in North America only
E-book $40.00 to $50.00 ISBN: 9781908323590 Published August 2014
In 2008, Bhutan triumphantly took the stage as the world’s youngest democracy. But despite its growing prominence—and rising scholarly interest in the country—Bhutan remains one of the least studied, and least well-known places on the planet.

Karma Phuntsho’s The History of Bhutan is the first book to offer a comprehensive history of Bhutan in English. Along with a detailed social and political analysis, it offers substantive discussions of Bhutan’s geography and culture; the result is the clearest, richest account of this nation and its history ever published for general readers.

A 2015 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title Award Winner
Contents

Preface

THE COUNTRY AND ITS NAMES
MonLhomonkhazhi—the Mon of four approaches
Menjong—the medicinal country
Country bestrewn with Tsanden
Drukyul—the Land of the Thunder Dragon
Bhutan—a British legacy

THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE
The Subtropical Lowlands
The Temperate Midlands
The Alpine Highlands
The People

MANY TONGUES
Central Bodish group
Dzongkha
Chocha Ngacha/Tsamangpikha
Jyokha of Merak and Sakteng
Jyokha of Dur
Lakha language
Bökay or Tibetan
East Bodish group
Bumthangkha
Khengkha
Kurtöp
Ngenkha
Chalibikha
Dzalakha
Dakpakha
Monkha/Olekha
Other Bodic languages
Tshangla
Lhopikha
Gongdukpikha
Lepcha
Limbu, Rai, Tamang, Sherpa, etc.
Kurux
Indo-European languages
Nepali
Hindi
English

HISTORY AND PREHISTORY
In the presence of the past
The Prehistoric Period

EARLY HISTORIC PERIOD: EARLY DIFFUSION OF BUDDHISM
Songtsen Gampo and the two temples
Padmasambhava and the two kings
The refugees

EARLY HISTORIC PERIOD: LATER DIFFUSION OF BUDDHISM
The dung lineages
The Ura dung
The Ngang dung
Dung/dung reng
The religious lines
Bön religion
The Lhapa Kagyu school
The Drukpa Kagyu school
The Nyingma school
Tertöns in rough chronological order
Pema Lingpa and other local Bhutanese tertöns
Lhomon Kathogpa
Chagzampa tradition
Nenyingpa
Barawa of Kagyu school
Sakyapa
Shingtapa of Gelug school
Kamtshang of Kagyu school
Drigung of Kagyu school
Other prominent religious visitors
Indian visitors
A sketch of society and polity

THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD: THE UNIFICATION OF THE DRAGON COUNTRY
The historical conditions
Zhabdrung’s dispute in Tibet
Zhabdrung arrives in Bhutan
The Portuguese guests
Zhabdrung’s first dzong and the second Tibetan invasion
The Palace of Great Bliss and the third Tibetan invasion
The Dalai Lama’s rule and Zhabdrung’s victory
Gaden Phodrang’s second defeat and Zhabdrung’s celebrations
Zhabdrung’s retreat and expansion of the state

ZHABDRUNG’S LEGACYAND THE EARLY MONK RULERS
Zhabdrung’s legacy of a religious state
Sustaining Zhabdrung’s legacy
The pressing question of succession
The beginning of internal strife
The alternate line of succession
Overture to Ladakh and disclosure of the ‘open secret’

MULTIPLE INCARNATIONS AND THE RISE OF LAY RULERS
The Shaman of Wang and the rise of the first lay ruler
The proliferation of incarnations and the fall of Bearded Desi
Two incarnate brothers and the last Tibetan invasion
Mipham Wangpo’s escape and the continuation of Bönbji rule
The glorious days of Sherab Wangchuk

THE RISE OF SOUTHWARD RELATIONS AND INTERNAL STRIFE
Zhidar and Bhutan’s affairs with Cooch Behar
The opportunistic EIC
Bogle and the first British Mission to Bhutan
The reign of Jigme Sengay and more white men
Factional fighting and the imbroglio of incarnations
The clash of incarnations and the first pressure from the east
Bhutan’s stake in British expansion
Death, destruction and reappearance

CIVIL WARS AND FRONTIER TROUBLES
First clash with the British in the east
The fear of the unknown and the Pemberton mission
Chakpa Sangay’s rebellion and an unaccomplished mission
Two capitals, two rulers and oaths of reconciliation
The loss of the luminaries and re-ignition of strife
The fate of Jigme Norbu and the fall of Chakpa Sangay
The incessant conflicts
The rise of Jigme Namgyal

THE DUAR WAR AND THE BLACK REGENT
Continued frontier outrages
The humiliation of Ashley Eden
The Duar War
Resumption of civil war

THE EMERGENCE OF UGYEN WANGCHUK AND END OF CIVIL WAR
The Rise of Ugyen Wangchuk
Bhutan’s last internal strife and the battle of Changlingmethang
Ugyen Wangchuk as king-maker and mediator
The final years of a religious republic

EARLY MODERN PERIOD: THE INTRODUCTION OF MONARCHY
The sociopolitical setting
The King is crowned
King Ugyen Wangchuk’s deeds and devotion
The reign of Jigme Wangchuk
The weight of the golden yoke
Securing the sovereignty

THE MODERN PERIOD: THE DRAGON’S NEW JOURNEY
Decentralization, democracy and dasho aspirants
Security, sovereignty and the dragon’s wrath
Socioeconomic development and cultural transformations
The dragon’s tryst with happiness

Bibliography
Notes
Acknowledgements

Review Quotes
Choice
“Stands out as a unique and comprehensive survey of Bhutanese history and as such is a must have for any researcher of the country. . . . Essential.”
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