The first humans probably arrived sometime after the Ice Age, and little is known about Bhutan's prehistory. Historical records began with the arrival of Buddhism in the 7th century, when Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava visited Bhutan and established monasteries.

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations.

In December 2006, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck transferred power to his oldest son, the Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, bestowing upon him the title of the fifth Druk Gyalpo. The official coronation took place in November 2008. The Fifth King is Boston and Oxford educated and is held in high esteem throughout the country.

Guru Rinpoche

It is not possible to travel far in Bhutan without seeing images of a man wearing a tall elaborate hat and with eyes that are open wide and staring forward into space. This is the great 8th century sage of Vajrayana Buddhism, Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as he often called. According to legend, Padmasambhava was reincarnated into a lotus blossom as an eight year old child, and from very young he possessed great wisdom and insight. Furthermore, he had mastery of the elements and so like a potter manipulating basic clay and turning it into beautiful pots, he was able to transform harmful action and substances into something positive and beneficial.

Guru Rinpoche's special association with Bhutan began when he traveled to the town now known as Jakar at the invitation of a local king to subjugate negative forces. The mission was a success, and from this encounter Buddhism spread throughout the land. A body print of the great sage exists to this day at Kurjey Lhakhang in Jakar, and he is also associated with many other sacred sites in Bhutan, with perhaps the most notable being the cliff-hanging Taktshang Monastery in Paro.

( A partially government owned newspaper with a forty year history. Kuensel is published daily.
( The official TV broadcasting station
The Bhutan Times
( An independent source of news on Bhutan - commercial and somewhat tabloid in nature. BT is published once a week on Sunday.
The Bhutan Observer
( An independent source of news on Bhutan - a social leaning paper with in-depth stories. BO is published once a week on Friday.
Radio Valley
( Bhutan's first Private FM Radio Station. A program called "With Love From Home" can be listened online.
Kuzoo FM
( An English language radio channel - mixture of youth orientated music and discussion programs - FM 105.
Centennial Radio
An English and Dzongkha National Language program.
Recommended reading/viewing
Travellers and Magicians
(http://www.travellersandm...), Bhutan's first internationally acclaimed feature film was made in 2003 and showcases life in Bhutan.
Beyond the Sky and the Earth
buy - a novel by Jamie Zeppa telling the true story of a young Canadian's Jamie experiences teaching at schools in Bhutan - very entertaining and informative.
The Raven Crown
buy A book by Michael Aris about the origins of the Buddhist monarchy in Bhutan.
The Circle of Karma
an excellent novel by acclaimed local author Kunzang Choden - insights into the life of Bhutanese women.