Trongsa Province

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Trongsa Province (Dzongkha: ཀྲོང་གསར་; Wylie: krong-gsar) was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan. [1]

Contents

Trongsa Province occupied lands in central Bhutan corresponding somewhat to modern Trongsa District, although the power of the Trongsa Penlop extended far beyond his own realms, covering the entire east of Bhutan. The province was administered from the Trongsa Dzong in the town of Trongsa, and its ruling governor was known as the Penlop of Trongsa, or Tongsab. [1] [2] [3]

History

Trongsa Dzong, administrative headquarters of Trongsa Province Trongsa dzong.jpg
Trongsa Dzong, administrative headquarters of Trongsa Province

Under Bhutan's early theocratic dual system of government, decreasingly effective central government control resulted in the de facto disintegration of the office of Shabdrung after the death of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1651. Under this system, the Shabdrung reigned over the temporal Druk Desi and religious Je Khenpo. Two successor Shabdrungs – the son (1651) and stepbrother (1680) of Ngawang Namgyal – were effectively controlled by the Druk Desi and Je Khenpo until power was further splintered through the innovation of multiple Shabdrung incarnations, reflecting speech, mind, and body. Increasingly secular regional lords (penlops and dzongpons) competed for power amid a backdrop of civil war over the Shabdrung and invasions from Tibet, and the Mongol Empire. [4] The penlops of Trongsa and Paro, and the dzongpons of Punakha, Thimphu, and Wangdue Phodrang were particularly notable figures in the competition for regional dominance. [4] [5] During this period, there were a total of nine provinces and eight penlops vying for power. [6]

Traditionally, Bhutan comprised nine provinces: Trongsa, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang, Daga (also Taka, Tarka, or Taga), Bumthang, Thimphu, Kurtoed (also Kurtoi, Kuru-tod), and Kurmaed (or Kurme, Kuru-mad). The Provinces of Kurtoed and Kurmaed were combined into one local administration, leaving the traditional number of governors at eight. While some lords were Penlops, others held the title Dzongpen (Dzongkha: རྗོང་དཔོན་; Wylie: rjong-dpon; also "Jongpen," "Dzongpön"); both titles may be translated as "governor." [1] The Penlop of Trongsa controlled central Bhutan; the rival Penlop of Paro controlled western Bhutan; and dzongpons controlled areas surrounding their respective dzongs. The Penlop of Paro, unlike Trongsa, was an office appointed by the Druk Desi's central government. Because western regions controlled by the Penlop of Paro contained lucrative trade routes, it became the object of competition among aristocratic families. [7]

Chogyal Minjur Tenpa (1613–1680; r. 1667–1680) was the first Penlop of Trongsa (Tongsab), appointed by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. He was born Damchho Lhundrub in Min-Chhud, Tibet, and led a monastic life from childhood. Before his appointment as Tongsab, he held the appointed post of Umzey (Chant Master). A trusted follower of the Shabdrung, Minjur Tenpa was sent to subdue kings of Bumthang, Lhuntse, Trashigang, Zhemgang, and other lords from Trongsa Dzong. After doing so, the Tongsab divided his control in the east among eight regions (Shachho Khorlo Tsegay), overseen by Dungpas and Kutshabs (civil servants). He went on to build Jakar, Lhuentse, Trashigang, and Zhemgang Dzongs. [2] :106

The 10th Penlop of Trongsa Jigme Namgyel (r. 1853–1870) began consolidating power, paving the way for his son the 12th Penlop of Trongsa Ugyen Wangchuck to prevail in battle against all rival penlops and establish the monarchy in 1907. With the establishment of the monarchy and consolidation of power, the traditional roles of provinces, their rulers, and the dual system of government came to an end. [7] [8]

See also

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Penlop

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Penlop of Trongsa Bhutanese royal title

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Dzongpen

Dzongpen is a Dzongkha term roughly translated as governor or dzong lord. Bhutanese dzongpens, prior to unification, controlled certain areas of the country, but now hold no administrative office. Rather, dzongpens are now entirely subservient to the House of Wangchuck.

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Paro Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Punakha Province

Punakha Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

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Wangdue Phodrang Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Daga Province

Daga Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Bumthang Province

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Thimphu Province

Thimphu Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Kurtoed Province

Kurtoed Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Kurmaed Province

Kurmaed Province was one of the nine historical Provinces of Bhutan.

Provinces of Bhutan

The Provinces of Bhutan were historical regions of Bhutan headed by penlops and dzongpens. Provincial lords gained power as the increasingly dysfunctional dual system of government eventually collapsed amid civil war. The victorious Penlop of Trongsa Ugyen Wangchuck gained de jure sovereignty over the entire realm in 1907, marking the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Bhutan and the ascendancy of the House of Wangchuck. Since this time, the provinces of Bhutan have been reorganized several times into what are now the twenty Districts of Bhutan (Dzongkhag). Provincial titles such as Penlop of Trongsa and Penlop of Paro carry on, however, wholly subordinate to the Royal House.

The Kingdom of Bumthang was one of several small kingdoms within the territory of modern Bhutan before the first consolidation under Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1616. After initial consolidation, the Bumthang Kingdom became Bumthang Province, one of the nine Provinces of Bhutan. The region was roughly analogous to modern day Bumthang District. It was again consolidated into the modern Kingdom of Bhutan in 1907.

Valleys of Bhutan

The valleys of Bhutan are carved into the Himalaya by Bhutan's rivers, fed by glacial melt and monsoon rains. As Bhutan is landlocked in the mountainous eastern Himalaya, much of its population is concentrated in valleys and lowlands, separated by rugged southward spurs of the Inner Himalaya. Despite modernization and development of transport in Bhutan, including a national highway system, travel from one valley to the next remains difficult. Western valleys are bound to the east by the Black Mountains in central Bhutan, which form a watershed between two major river systems, the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. Central valleys are separated from the east by the Donga Range. The more isolated mountain valleys protect several tiny, distinct cultural and linguistic groups. Reflecting this isolation, most valleys have their own local protector deities.

References

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  4. 1 2 PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material  from the  Library of Congress document: Worden, Robert L. (September 1991). Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.). Bhutan: A country study. Federal Research Division. Administrative Integration and Conflict with Tibet, 1651–1728.
  5. PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material  from the  Library of Congress document: Worden, Robert L. (September 1991). Savada, Andrea Matles (ed.). Bhutan: A country study. Federal Research Division. Civil Conflict, 1728–72.
  6. Lawrence John Lumley Dundas Zetland (Marquis of); Ronaldsha E., Asian Educational Services (2000). Lands of the Thunderbolt: Sikhim, Chumbi & Bhutan. Asian Educational Services. p. 204. ISBN   81-206-1504-2 . Retrieved 2011-08-10.
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