The origins and the early history of Bhutan is steeped in mythology with mystery tales of supernatural powers. The mythology and folklore take one to a dream land of ghosts, spirits, yetis, lamas reincarnated in three bodies, saints flying on tigers, angels rebuilding the temples destroyed by demons.
Archaeological studies give us some knowledge about the Bhutan before the recorded history. Archaeological remains of weapons and stone tools, megaliths and ruins of large structures built with stones (probably used as boundary stones and ritual places) were found providing us clues about a civilisation way back in 2000 BC. Absence of any evidence of neolithic origin, rules out earlier inhabitation of these regions.
Historians theorize the existence of pre history state of Monyul (meaning dark land) or Lhomon (meaning southern darkness). It is believed that this land was populated by fierce mountain aboriginal people (probably related to Monpa tribals of Bhutan).
These tribals were of neither the Mongol or Tibetian stock. The people of Monyul practiced Bon, a Shamanistic religion with the belief that shamans(medicine men) are intermediaries between the humans and the spirits. Shamans are believed to alleviate illness and traumas affecting the spirit and body.
The Monyul state was believed to have existed between 500 BC and 600 AD.
The legends in history narrate about a mighty Monyul king, who invaded and subjugated the Bihar, Bengal and Assam regions now belonging to India.
Some native scholars while referring to their home land used the names Lhomon Khashi (southern Mon country of four approaches) and Lhomon Tsendenjong (southern Mon sandalwood country) which are found in the ancient in Tibetian and Bhutanese chronicles.
Since seventeenth century, it is evident from history that the traditional name of Bhutan has been Drukyul meaning land of Drukpa.
The name Bhutan is used only in official correspondence in English language.
The origin of the name Bhutan is suggested by history scholars as a variant of Sanskrit language words Bhota-ant (end of Bhot or Tibet) or Bhu-uttan (highlands).
The entry of Bhuddism changed the basic culture of Monpa natives.