Druk tsendhen

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English: The Thunder Dragon Kingdom
Druk tsendhen
Emblem of Bhutan.svg

National anthem of  Bhutan
LyricsDorji Lopen Droep Namgay
Dasho Gyaldun Thinley
MusicAku Tongmi
Audio sample
Druk tshendhen

Druk tsendhen (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཙན་དན, "The Thunder Dragon Kingdom") is the national anthem of Bhutan. Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Venerable Dorji Lopen Dolop Droep Namgay of Talo, Punakha; possibly translated into English by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley.[1]


Despite the claims made in Brozovic's Enciklopedija (1999) and many subsequent authors, who attribute the authorship of this most sacred national compilation to the late Gyaldun, father of the (now) former Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinlay (2008–2013), there are many who believe that the words and the national anthem itself were penned by none other than the much learned and Venerable Dorji Lopen Dolop Droep Namgay of Talo, Punakha. The Dorji Lopen is the senior-most of the four senior Lopens in Bhutan's religious establishment, and often serves as the Deputy Je Khenpo. Dolop Droep Namgay, given his extensive knowledge and wisdom, maintained close personal and working relations with the Third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1929–1972), during whose reign, Gyaldun Thinley served in various capacities. It is possible that Gyaldun Thinlay may have been involved in working closely with Dolop Droep Namgay as well as translating the sacred words into English. It is also highly likely that he (and/or his son Jigme Y. Thinlay who served in many important government and political capacities since the 1990s) was one of the persons of first contact for Dalibor Brozovic and any such claims made therein, remained part of Bhutan's history, with little or no investigative work done thereon. However, as to the claims that this beautiful ode to this great nation could have originated, much less penned by Gyaldun Thinley, who, despite his rise through the ranks and importance to Bhutan's history, is not much known for his knowledge or learning, is not viewed favorably or seriously by many. Dolop Droep Namgay on the other hand, through oral tellings again, is renowned for both learning and wisdom. He is also attributed to have designed, named and conveyed the significance of many important national symbols and emblems - most of which are commonly known but not as well documented. An example is the insignia of the various ranks (i.e. Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, etc.) of the Royal Bhutan Army, the Royal Bhutan Police and the Royal Body Guards; on the specific orders and under the guidance of His Majesty The Third King. Most of these refutations are not documented. They are oral tellings from older to the younger generation. A more thorough and academic investigation may be necessary to determine the true origins of the Druk Tsendhen; be it a lay civil servant or a learned high-monk.

Tongmi was educated in India and had recently been appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India. His original score was inspired by the Bhutanese folk tune "The Unchanging Lotus Throne" (Thri nyampa med pa pemai thri). The melody has twice undergone changes by Tongmi's successors as band leaders. The original lyrics were 12 lines, but was shortened to the present six-line version in 1964 by a secretary to the king.[2]

As the anthem is inspired by a folk tune, there is a choreography to it as well, originally directed by Tongmi.[2][3]


The lyrics to the national anthem are inscribed in the Constitution of Bhutan.[4]

Original in Dzongkha[5] Transliteration English translation[6]


Druk cenden koipi gyelkhap na
Pel loog nig tensi chongwai gyon
Druk gyelpo ngadhak rinpoche
Ku jurmei tenching chhap cid pel
Chho sangye tenpa darshing gyel
Bang deikyed nyima shar warr sho.

In the Kingdom of Bhutan adorned with cypress trees,
The Protector who reigns over the realm of spiritual and secular traditions,
He is the King of Bhutan, the precious sovereign.
May His being remain unchanging, and the Kingdom prosper,
May the teachings of the Enlightened One flourish,
May the sun of peace and happiness shine over all people.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brozović, Dalibor (1999). Hrvatska Enciklopedija. 1. Miroslav Krleža. p. 569. ISBN 953-6036-29-0. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  2. ^ a b Penjore, Dorji; Kinga, Sonam (2002). The Origin and Description of The National Flag and National Anthem of The Kingdom of Bhutan (PDF). Thimphu: The Centre for Bhutan Studies. p. 14. ISBN 99936-14-01-7. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  3. ^ Blackwell, Amy Hackney (2009). Independence Days: Holidays and Celebrations. Infobase Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 1-60413-101-2. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  4. ^ "Bhutan: The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan". www.wipo.int. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  5. ^ "National Anthem". Bhutan Portal. Government of Bhutan. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  6. ^ "Constitution of Bhutan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.

Further reading[edit]

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