Druk tsendhen (“The Thunder Dragon Kingdom”) is the national anthem of Bhutan.
Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. Tongmi was educated in India and was recently appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from prime minister Nehru of India. His original score was inspired by the Indian and British anthems, as well as the Bhutanese folk tune Thri nyampa med pa pemai thri (“The Unchanging Lotus Throne”). The melody has twice undergone changes by Mr Tongmi’s successors as band leaders.
The original lyrics were 12 lines, but was shortened to the present 6 lines version in 1964 by a secretary to the king. Both versions are quoted in the book at link #1.
As the anthem is inspired by a folk tune, there is a choreography to it as well, originally directed by Mr. Tongmi.
Druk tsenden koipi gyelkhap na
Pel loog nig tensi chongwai gyon
Druk ngadhak gyelpo rinpoche
Ku jurmey tenching chhap tsid pel
Chho sangye tenpa darshing gyel
Bang deykyed nyima shar warr sho.
In the Kingdom of Druk, where cypresses grow
Refuge of the glorious monastic and civil traditions,
The King of Druk, precious sovereign,
His being is eternal, his reign prosperous
The enlightenment teachings thrive and flourish
May the people shine like the sun of peace and happiness!