Spotlights: A journey with a King

November 11, 1955

– His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo was born at Dechhencholing Palace, Thimphu, in the female sheep year as prophesized by Terton Drukdra Dorji in the 18th century


– His Majesty went to St Josephs’s School (North Point) in Darjeeling, India and later moved to England to pursue formal education.


– His Majesty returned to Bhutan to continue his education at the Ugyen Wangchuck Academy, Paro.


– His Majesty became the 15th Trongsa Penlop. In same year, His Majesty was appointed as the Chairman of the Planning Commission


– Bhutan joined the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).


– At the age of 17, His Majesty was formally enthroned as the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

– Bhutan was opened to tourism.

– Bhutan and India signed the Chhukha Hydroelectric Project agreement.

– Established the National Assembly Secretariat and the Food Corporation of Bhutan.


– Established the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan.


– Established Army Welfare Project.

– Opened Sherubtse public school in Kanglung, Trashigang.


– Bhutan’s diplomatic mission in New Delhi, India became a full-fledged embassy.

– Bhutan joined IFAD.


– Inaugurated the UNDP office in Bhutan.

– Established Bhutan Broadcasting Services.



– Birth of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

– Established Royal Bhutan Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

– Established Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

– Commissioned Penden Cement Authority Ltd.

– Bhutan signed Postal Parcel Agreement and Universal Postal Convention.


– His Majesty the King established the Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchung to encourage people’s participation in the decision-making process.

– Bhutan joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, IDA and FAO.

– Established National Women’s Association of Bhutan.


– Bhutan became member of UNESCO, World Health Organization (WHO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB)

– His Majesty addressed the Convocation at Nagarjuna Sagar University, India

– The Royal Civil Service Commission was established in June 1982 under the Royal Charter


– Established Drukair, Bhutan’s national airline

– Established diplomatic relations with Nepal and Kuwait

– Established Royal Monetary Authority


– His Majesty attended the Republic Day of India as Guest of Honour

– Established diplomatic relations with Maldives


– Bhutan became a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) along with seven other nations. Bhutan was one of its founding members.

– Established diplomatic relations with Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway.


– Established the Royal Institute of Management (RIM).

– Established diplomatic relations with Japan and Finland.

– Established Royal Bhutan Embassy in Kuwait.


– Visit of His Royal Highness (HRH) Crown Prince Naruhito, of Japan.

– His Majesty attended the Third SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal.

– Established diplomatic relations with South Korea and Sri Lanka


– The Royal Wedding Ceremony at the sacred Dechok Lhakhang in Punakha.

– Visit of the royal family of Nepal and President of India, Sri R Venkataraman.

– Chhukha Hydro Power Project inaugurated.

– His Majesty attended 4th SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.


– Established diplomatic relations with Austria.

– His Majesty attended the ninth NAM summit in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.


– His Majesty attended the fifth SAARC Summit in Maldives

– Established diplomatic relations with Pakistan

– Established the National Environment Commission


– His Majesty established Gewog Yargey Tshogchung to promote local Socio-economic development strategies and initiatives, by empowering the people to take ownership of their plans and programs.


– Established diplomatic relations with Bahrain.

– Established the Unit Trust of Bhutan (BNBL) and Bhutan Trust Fund for Environment.



– Established Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan.


– Signed the Tala project and Dungsam Cement agreement with India.

– Signed the Basochhu power project with Austria.


– His Majesty established the Lhengye Zhungtshog and also handed over governance to the Cabinet.

– Visit of Prince Charles


– Bhutan celebrated 25 years of His Majesty’s reign.

– Bhutan introduced the internet and television.


– His Majesty appointed the Constitution Drafting Committee.


– His Majesty led “operation flush out” team against ULFA, KLO and NDFB militants.

– His Majesty handed over governance to the elected Cabinet.


– His Majesty was conferred the UNEP Champions of the Earth Award. The award was presented in recognition of the commitment in placing the environment at the center of the country’s Constitution and all its development plans.


– His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated in favour of Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who would assume full responsibilities as Head of State and the Fifth Druk Gyalpo.

– His Majesty was conferred the J Paul Getty Conservation Leadership Award

– His Majesty was listed amongst 100 most influential people in the Time Magazine.


– His Majesty was conferred the Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto award.compiled by Tashi Wangmo

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