Druk tsendhen

Druk Tsenden (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཙན་དན, Dzongkha pronunciation: [ʈuk̚˩ t͡sen˥.te˩]; The Thunder Dragon Kingdom") is the national anthem of Bhutan. Adopted in 1953, the lyrics were written by Dolop Droep Namgay and possibly translated into English by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. The accompanying music was composed by Aku Tongmi.[1]

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

National anthem of  Bhutan

LyricsDorji Lopen Droep Namgay
Dasho Gyaldun Thinley
MusicAku Tongmi


Despite claims made in Brozović's Enciklopedija (1999) and many subsequent authors, who attribute the authorship of the national anthem to Gyaldun Thinley, father of the former Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, there are many who believe that the words and the national anthem itself were penned by Dorji Lopen Dolop Droep Namgay of Talo, Punakha. The Dorji Lopen is the most senior of the four senior Lopens in Bhutan's religious establishment, and often serves as the Deputy Je Khenpo. Dolop Droep Namgay maintained close personal and working relations with the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, during whose reign Gyaldun Thinley served in various capacities.

It is possible that Gyaldun Thinley may have been involved in working closely with Dolop Droep Namgay as well as translating the lyrics into English. It is also highly likely that he (and/or his son Jigme Thinley who served in many important government and political capacities since the 1990s) was one of the persons of first contact for Dalibor Brozović who attributed Gyaldun Thinley as the author of the lyrics; however, many regard Dolop Droep Namgay as the author.

Aku 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 the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. 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 were 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 Roman Dzongkha English translation


Dru tsend°en kepä gäkhap na
Pä lu’nyi tensi kyongwä gin
Dru gäpo ’ngada rinpoche
Ku gyûme tencing chap si phe
Chö sanggä tenpa dâzh°ing gä
Bang deki nyima shâwâsho.[6]

In the Kingdom of Bhutan adorned with cypress trees,
The Protector who reigns over the realm of spiritual and secular
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.[7]

See alsoEdit


  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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  3. ^ Blackwell, Amy Hackney (2009). Independence Days: Holidays and Celebrations. Infobase Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-60413-101-7. 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. ^ This transcription is based on the official Dzongkha romanization by Dr. George van Driem, see http://www.himalayanlanguages.org/files/driem/pdfs/1991Romanization.pdf
  7. ^ "Constitution of Bhutan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.

Further readingEdit

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