Lhendup Dorji

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For the Bhutanese footballer, see Lhendup Dorji (footballer).
Lhendup Dorji
Prime Minister of Bhutan
In office
25 July 1964 – 27 November 1964
Monarch Jigme Dorji
Preceded by Jigme Palden Dorji
Succeeded by Jigme Thinley
Personal details
Born 6 October 1935
Kalimpong, India
Died April 15, 2007(2007-04-15) (aged 71)
Lungtenphu, Thimphu
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Ashi Glenda Anne Dorji
Children 4
Parents Sonam Topgay Dorji
Chuni Wangmo
Alma mater Cornell University

Dasho (Lord) Lhendup Dorji (6 October 1935 – 15 April 2007) was a member of the powerful and respected aristocratic Dorji family of Bhutan. He was also the uncle of the fourth king of Bhutan, His Royal Highness Jigme Singye Wangchuck. He served as acting Lonchen (Prime Minister) following the assassination of his brother, Lonchen Jigme Palden Dorji, on April 5, 1964. Following a national power struggle, he and other members of his family were exiled in 1965.[1] He was allowed to return to Bhutan in 1974.

Lhendup Dorji was born to Gongzim Raja Sonam Topgay Dorji and Princess Rani Chuni Wangmo of Sikkim on October 6, 1935 at Bhutan House, Kalimpong, India.[2] He became the first Bhutanese to study in the United States attending Cornell University, which he graduated from in 1959.[3] Dorji was an avid hunter and excelled in athletics, such as boxing, golf, and tennis. He returned to Bhutan from the United States and started out measuring land. He spent months traveling around Bhutan calculating the terrain by hand using the most readily available measuring systems. He later served as Postmaster General, Paro Thrimpon, Deputy and later Secretary General of the country's Development Wing.[4]

Lhendup had a mischievous sense of humour, and enjoyed playing practical jokes on his friends. He often laughed and smiled. He liked to go walking, and enjoyed going to horse races. He was a gracious host, with friends dropping by to visit and chat around his kitchen table at any time of day. He is referenced by Shirley MacLaine in her book, "Don't Fall Off the Mountain", which documents a visit she made to Bhutan during which she met him. Lhendup also sometimes made his own approximation of Bhutanese curry.

Dorji's nephew, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, went on to become the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan. On April 15, 2007 he died of cancer in Lungtenphu, Thimphu.[4]


  •  Bhutan :
    • Order of the Golden Fleece Rib.gif The Royal Red Scarf (1958).[5]
    • King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal 1974.gif King Jigme Singye Investiture Medal (2 June 1974).[6]


See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jigme Palden Dorji
Prime Minister of Bhutan

July – November 1964
Succeeded by
post abolished 1964–1998
Jigme Thinley (1998)


  1. ^ Bhutan - World Statesmen Prime ministers (Lonchen) Retrieved on June 5, 2007
  2. ^ Royal Ark
  3. ^ APFA News Dasho Lhendup Dorji Laid to Rest Retrieved on June 3, 2007
  4. ^ a b Kuensel Online Dasho Lhendup Dorji Laid to Rest Retrieved on June 5, 2007
  5. ^ Royal Ark
  6. ^ Royal Ark

External links[edit]