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The Kingdom of Bhutan

Kings of Bhutan since the establishment of the monarchy in 1907:

King Ugyen Wangchuck
Reigned 1907-1926

King Jigme Wangchuck
Reigned 1926-1952

King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Reigned 1952-1972

King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Reigned 1972-2006; abdicated

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Reign 2006-Present

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Books About Bhutan

Unless otherwise noted, these books are for sale at Amazon.com. Your purchase through these links will result in a commission for the owner of the Royalty.nu site.

Book topics: Bhutan, Travel, Photos, DVDs, China, India, Nepal, Asia, World Royalty

History & Royalty of Bhutan

The History of Bhutan by Karma Phuntsho. Published in 2014, this is the first comprehensive history of Bhutan in English for general readers. It includes sections on the early modern period, the introduction of the monarchy, the modern period and democracy.

The Raven Crown: The Origins of Buddhist Monarchy in Bhutan by Michael Aris. The story of the Wangchuk dynasty's rise and triumph. Illustrated with rare historical photographs, most previously unpublished.

So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas by Barbara Crossette is about Bhutan and the neighboring kingdoms of Ladakh, Sikkim and Tibet.

Of Rainbows and Clouds: The Life of Yab Ugyen Dorji As Told to His Daughter by Ashi Dorji Wangmo, Queen of Bhutan. For centuries Bhutan was ruled by reincarnations of its founder. The family was forced into exile in the 20th century. This book tells the their story and shares historical and contemporary photographs, including the only photos of the wedding at which King Jigme Singye Wangchuk married the author and three of her sisters.

Treasures of the Thunder Dragon: A Portrait of Bhutan by Ashi Dori Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen of Bhutan. Blends personal memoir, history, folklore and travelogue, providing insight into life in villages and hamlets, monasteries and palaces. Includes photographs from the Queen's family album.

The Royal Semi-Authoritarian Democracy of Bhutan by Dhurba Rizal. According to the author, royal democracy in Bhutan is a myth. Published in 2015.


Lonely Planet Bhutan by Stan Armington. Includes maps and cultural insight.

Bhutan: Himalayan Mountain Kingdom by Francoise Pommaret. Travel guide. Guide to the isolated, fiercely indpendent kingdom.


Bhutan: Through the Lens of the King by Pavan K. Varma and Malvika Singh, photographs by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Essays about the King of Bhutan and his kingdom, accompanied by over 160 of the King's photographs.

Three Kingdoms on the Roof of the World: Bhutan, Nepal, Ladakh by Robert Z. Apte. Photo-essay that brings these ancient lands to life using 144 images and text on each region.

Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon by John Berthold. Captures the beauties of this remote kingdom's ancient fortresses and temples, colorful festivals, religious ceremonies, and isolated communities.

Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom by Michael Hawley. At over five by seven feet and 133 pounds, this is the largest published book in the world. Contains an atlas and beautiful photographs. Limited edition of 500 copies. Proceeds go to the charity Friendly Planet, which constructs schools in Bhutan and Cambodia. Only available online at Amazon.com

DVDs About Bhutan

The DVDs listed below are formatted for North American audiences.

Bhutan: Taking The Middle Path to Happiness. Documentary explores whether this small, isolated country can protect its environment and culture while opening its doors to the West. Bonus feature: A short film in which the Dalai Lama expresses his views on happiness.

Bhutan - Gross National Happiness. Documentary about Bhutan and its government's policy of pursuing Gross National Happiness rather than aiming solely for an increase in Gross Domestic Product. The DVD has English, German, French, Spanish and Italian language tracks.

Discovering the Myths & Mystique of Bhutan. This photographic journey through Bhutan takes you to a weekend market, a religious festival, ancient fortresses, and more.

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Related Topics

The Kingdom of Nepal
The Emperors of China
India's History and Royalty
Royalty in Asia

Other Websites

The King of Bhutan on Facebook
The Queen of Bhutan on Facebook
The Royal Ark - Bhutan (genealogy)
CIA World Factbook - Bhutan
Wikipedia - Bhutan

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