Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck
Growing up in an era of turmoil
Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck who was destined to play a significant role in shaping the political destiny of Bhutan was born to Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal and Ashi Pema Choki in 1862 at Wangduecholing Palace in Bumthang. His father came from the noble family of Dungkar Chojie, descendent of Terton Pema Lingpa. His mother belonged to Tamshing Chojie, descendent of Lhalung Pelgi Dorji. Thus, he belonged to two of the most respected families in Bhutan.
Enthronement of the Founding Monarch
The installation ceremony of Sir Ugyen Wangchuck to the Golden throne as the 1st hereditary monarch ushered in for the first time a period of unity, prosperity and peace. After successfully containing the rival adversaries during the last civil war of 1885, Trongsa Penlop Ugyen Wangchuck appointed his trusted relatives and loyal supporters in key positions of the government. As the most powerful man in Bhutan, he also shouldered the daunting responsibility of restoring peace and order in a country that had been in perpetual turmoil for the last forty years.
Treaty of Punakha
The increasing influence on Tibet exerted by the Chinese in the beginning of the 20th century posed a grave threat to the security of Bhutan. The British-Indian Government and the Bhutanese Government viewed it crucial to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Lord Minto, the new Viceroy even advocated for an increase in the subsidy and a closer relations with Bhutan to encounter the possibility and danger of the Chinese government interfering in the Bhutanese affairs.
Introduction of Modern Education in 1914
The dawn of the 20th century saw Bhutan on a progressive march on all fronts. Not only did the country have a King on her golden throne which was an epitome of unity, consolidation and peace but also ushered in an era of progress and modernization. His interactions with the British India made him realize that of all other challenges that the country faced, imparting education was an equally important task. He himself had a firm footing on religious education and one of his first steps was to revive religious education.