Bhutan is no "Shangri-La". Its history is filled with feuds, conflict, and intrigue. In the fall of 1931, during the reign of the 5th King's great-grandfather, King Jigme Wangchuck, Shabdrung Jigme Dorji allegedly died in his sleep at age twenty-six.
This Shabdrung, the reincarnation of Bhutan’s founder, was a simple misguided monk with no political ambition. However, his ruthless, power-hungry brother-in-law and Chamberlain, Sonam Tshering, wanted to control Bhutan by reinstating the Shabdrung as the rightful ruler and use him as a political pawn. That summer the chamberlain sent a delegation, led by the Shabdrung’s brother-in-law, Choekyi Gyeltshen, to meet Mahatma Gandhi in Calcutta, and ask for his help to restore the Shabdrung’s rule and overthrow the King. Gandhi declined, handing Choekyi Gyeltshen a coconut along with a message advising Shabdrung to work for the good of his people.