History

The name Bhutan appears to derive from the ancient Indian term Bhotanta that means the end of the land of the Bhots. Bhot was the Sanskrit term for Tibetans, thus Bhutan could mean the end of the Tibet. It could also extend from the Sanskrit word Bhu’uttan or high land. No one seems to be sure. Ancient’s Tibetan writers called their fertile neighbour Lho Mon or Mon Yul, paradise of the south or land of the Monpas. The Bhutanese themselves refer to their country as Druk Yul or the Land of the peaceful Dragon. Druk meaning dragon and extending from the predominant Drukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Archaeological evidence suggests Bhutan was inhabited possibly as early as 2000 BC. Buddhism was probably introduced in the 2nd century although traditionally its introduction is credited to the first visit of Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century. Guru Rinpoche is one of the most important figures in Bhutan’s history, regarded as the second Buddha.