India loans ancient statue to Bhutan - Fusion - WeRIndia

India loans ancient statue to Bhutan

India loans ancient statue to Bhutan

The statue of Bhutan’s worshipped Dhurm Raja which was taken away from the country 150 years ago is now about to return to its home. Dhurm Raja is the title given to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. He is a 16th century Buddhist monk known to be the one who established Bhutan.

At present, the statue is at the Asiatic Society in Kolkata. It was given as a gift by Hadyat Ali, a British captain in 1865. The statue which was originally in Bhutan was moved by the British army when they captured Buxa Fort under the control of Bhutan.

Earlier in June, Bhutan asked the society to return the statue for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Zhabdrung this year. However, the society denied the request saying that the constitution did not allow returning of a gift. However, there has been a change of plan and now India is set to loan the statue of Dhurm Raja for a year to Bhutan.

Satyabrata Chakrabarti, general secretary of Asiatic Society said that the Indian government made a decision and gave directions to the Asiatic Society. As a result, the statue of Dhurm Raja will be given to Bhutan on loan for a year. The statue will be used by Bhutan in the year-long festival. It will be return to India by the end of December 2017. The two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding based on these terms soon.


The move from India to loan a cultural item to Bhutan gives points to India with demands of asking the Kohinoor diamond be returned along with other important relics of Indian heritage taken away by British colonists.

India did get some of its artifacts back. However, these were only smuggled out more recently. The priceless heritage artifacts of India which were taken away in the colonial era have not returned yet.

Image Reference: DnaIndia

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