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1907 to 2007 – Bhutan through 100 years

Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s (1862-1926) reputation as statesman swelled amongst the people of Bhutan when he took over the helm of affairs of eastern Bhutan as Trongsa Penlop in 1882. This, however, injected fear into his adopted brothers Thimphu Dzongpon Alo Dorji and Punakha Dzongpon Phuntsho Dorji. The assassination plan that they conspired led to the Battle of Changlimithang of 1885. This event, often described as Bhutan’s “last civil war”, consolidated Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s authority as the undisputed leader of Bhutan. A man of vision and a seasoned diplomat, he successfully restored the prolonged strained relations between British-India and Bhutan by accompanying Younghusband to Tibet in 1904 as a mediator. As a mark of appreciation for successful mediation in 1904 between Tibet and the British he was accorded with the insignia of the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire in Punakha Dzong in 1905.

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