The Dorji family of Bhutan has been a prominent and powerful political family in the kingdom since the 12th century AD. The family has produced monarchs, Prime Minister of Bhutan, Prime Ministers, Dzong lords and governors; the fourth king of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, as well as his son the current fifth king of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, are members of the Dorji family and therefore descendants of the royal family of Sikkim. The Dorji family is the holder of the Bhutan House estate in Kalimpong, India; the powerful aristocratic Dorji family are descended from the influential 12th-century aristocratic Lama Sum-phrang Chos-rje. The Dorji family are therefore descended from the aristocratic Dungkar Choji of the prominent Nyö clan; this means that the Dorji family are related by blood to the reigning Wangchuck monarchs who share the same ancestors. In fact Gongzim Ugyen Dorji who served as the Chamberlain to the first king Ugyen Wangchuck was his second cousin, because they shared the same great-grandfather Padma, son of the aristocratic Rabgyas.
From the beginning of Bhutan's hereditary monarchy, members of the family served as gongzim, their official residence was at the palatial Bhutan House at Kalimpong. Gongzim Ugyen Dorji as a befitting a person born as an aristocrat, was groomed for diplomacy and politics from a early age by his father Shap Penchung, a influential member of the court, as well as being the Dzongpon of Jungtsa; as a young lad, Gongzim Ugen Dorji acted as a moderator between the British diplomatic officials and the Bhutanese court. And in 1864 he accompanied his father to meet the British diplomatic mission under Sir Ashley Eden. At this time, Sir Ashley Eden and his entourage were incarcerated and threatened with execution by the Bhutanese government officials, but Gongzim Ugyen Dorji's father Shatpa Puenchung was instrumental in saving their lives and setting them free; this diplomatic crisis resulted in the Duar wars between the British Empire. As an adult, Gongzim Ugen Dorji became Chief Minister to his second cousin Penlop Ugyen Wangchuck and was instrumental in uniting the various fiefdoms of Bhutan to create a hereditary monarchy with Ugyen Wangchuck as the first reigning Dragon King.
The role of Chamberlain became hereditary within the Dorji family and Gongzim Ugyen Dorji was succeeded in this position by his son Sonam Topgay Dorji. In turn, Sonam Topgay Dorji's eldest son Jigme Palden Dorji was appointed Chief Minister to his kinsman King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1952. In 1958, he became the first man to hold the title Prime Minister of Bhutan, when the position of Chief Minister was upgraded in 1958, as part of a wider series of reforms by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. From Bhutan House, Gongzim Ugyen Dorji's son Raja Sonam Topgay Dorji held the post of Trade Agent to the Government of Bhutan, however he functioned to a large extent as prime minister, foreign minister, ambassador to India. Through this position as a trade intermediary, the Dorji family amassed wealth reputedly greater than that of the royal family. Topgay Raja himself married a Sikkimese princess, Rani Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji. In 1904, Trongsa Penlop Ugyen Wangchuck in power and advised by Gongzim Ugyen Dorji of the Dorji family, accompanied the British expedition to Tibet as an invaluable intermediary, earning the Penlop his first British knighthood.
The same year, a power vacuum formed within the dysfunctional Bhutanese dual system of government. Civil administration had fallen to the hands of Wangchuck, in November 1907 he was unanimously elected hereditary monarch by an assembly of the leading members of the clergy and aristocratic families, his ascendency to the throne ended the traditional in place for nearly 300 years and the beginning of the Royal House of Wangchuck. After two generations as Gongzim to the Wangchuck dynasty, Kesang Choden, the sister of Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji – the daughter of Topgay Raja and Princess Rani Mayum Choyin Wangmo of Sikkim – married the Third King, creating a new bond so prominent as to cause discontent among other Bhutanese families; the public was divided between pro-monarchist camps. In the early 1960s, the Third King went to Switzerland for treatment; as the king was unavailable, Prime Minister Jigme Dorji sought to fill a leadership role, however this led to tensions with the military and monarchist factions.
Namely, Dorji conflicted with the Royal Bhutan Army over the use of military vehicles, forced the retirement of some 50 military officers, sought to limit the power of state-supported religious institutions such as the Dratshang Lhentshog and Je Khenpo. On April 5, 1964, reformist Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji was assassinated in Phuentsholing by monarchist cadres as the king lay ill in Switzerland; the Dorji family was subsequently put under close watch. The King's Tibetan consort Yangki and her father, implicated in the assassination, suspected that Jigme Dorji's younger brother Lhendup would use the king's absence to exact revenge, they were detained at Gelephu. They fled the country; the King's own uncle and head of the Royal Bhutan Army, Namgyal Bahadur, was among those executed for their role in the attempted coup. The post of Prime Minister was vacant, the King identified Jigme Dorji's brother Lhendup as the successor. Lhendup's mother head of the Dorji family, advised the King against giving any title to Lhendup because it would have made the situation more explosive.
In 1964, the King a
Not to be mistaken for Andragoras, a satrap of Alexander from 331 BC in the area of Parthia. Andragoras was an Iranian satrap of the Seleucid provinces of Parthia and Hyrcania under the Seleucid rulers Antiochus I Soter and Antiochus II Theos, he revolted against his overlords, ruling independently from 245 BC till his death. The background of Andragoras is obscure, his name may have been a Greek translation of the Old Persian Narisanka and Avestan nairya-sanha-. A Greek inscription from Hyrcania written before 266 BC makes mention of a certain Andragoras of lesser status, the same person before he was appointed satrap; the name of Andragoras is uncommon, the only other reportage of the name is in the Greek papyri from Ptolemaic Egypt, thus the identification of the two is not far-fetched. Andragoras was appointed governor of the frontier province of Parthia, merged with the neighboring province of Hyrcania since the conquest of the Achaemenid Empire by the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
Parthia was during this period receiving new waves of Iranian migrants from Central Asia, most notably the Parni led by Arsaces I. Around 245 BC, Andragoras proclaimed his independence from the Seleucid monarch Seleucus II Callinicus, made his governorate an independent kingdom. Following the secession of Parthia and Hyrcania from the Seleucid Empire and the resultant loss of Seleucid military support, Andragoras had difficulty in maintaining his borders, about 238 BC—under the command of Arsaces I, the Parni invaded Parthia and seized control of Astabene from Andragoras, the northern region of that territory, the administrative capital of, Kuchan. A short while the Parni seized the rest of Parthia from Andragoras, killing him in the process. Hyrcania was shortly conquered by the Parni as well. Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus. Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae. Strabo, Geographica. Frye, R. N.. "Andragoras". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. II, Fasc. 1. P. 26. Frye, Richard Nelson.
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