In an elaborate sacred ceremony marked with chanting of sacred Buddhist sutras, Oxford-educated and Indian-trained Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was coronated as the fifth King of Bhutan on Thursday.
The enthronement ceremony was meant to bestow on the 28-year-old monarch ''wisdom, compassion, long life and empower with the virtue of fame and give fortitude to fight even the most difficult situation the newest democracy may face.''
Chief Abbot Truklu Jigme Choeda gave symbolic Buddhist objects of silver and gold that would empower the King and provide him with fame and all other virtues. Then the coronation ceremony formalised the abdication of the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, who had left the throne in December 2006 and paved way for his son who has emerged as the youngest King of South Asia.
The coronation ceremony had been kept secret, with only close family members and Prime Minister Jigme Y Thinley being allowed inside the sacred ancient monestry, where the rituals were conducted.
Indian President Pratibha Patil, who arrived here to be the chief guest for the coronation, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her children, who are family friends of the royal family, witnessed the historic occasion.
Mediapersons and guests from 32 countries, who had converged to witness the historic event, however, had to be satisfied with the live coverage done by an unmanned camera inside the ancient monastery.
Apart from limited space, the secrecy had been maintained, as the process involved a lot of symbolism and rituals, which could not be distracted by the movement of people and cameras.
Bhutan is celebrating four special events, including the coronation ceremony, 100th anniversary of the Wangchuck Dynasty, transition to the constitutional monarchy and democracy this year, and fiftieth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's visit to the country which paved Indo-Bhutan Cooperation leading to the country's development.