Gallery of the Zhabdrung’s Era(1594-1651)

_MG_7528In 1616 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal arrived in Bhutan from Tibet. He is credited with uniting the nation under a single political administration, and advancing the DrukKagyu lineage of MahayanaBuddhism. The Zhabdrung initiated the construction of many of Bhutan’s magnificent dzongs, locating the monastic body and administrative facilities in the same fortress-like building.This combination became the model for all of Bhutan’s subsequent dzongs. The Zhabdrung was also a skilled warrior and lead the Bhutanese army to important victories against Tibet.

zsealOnce at peace, the Zhabdrung set about creating a unified legal system for Bhutan and establishing many of the nation’s current customs, including defining the national dress, zhugdrel ceremony,and establishing the tsechu (series of dance) celebrations. The Zhabdrung Gallery has a total of 65 selected items including the Zhabdrung’s seal of NgaChudrugma, thangkas and photographs of dzongs he initiated.