The origin of the department dates back to mid 80s. Previously known as Special Commission for Cultural Affairs (SCCA), the Commission was established through a Royal Decree on 31 July 1985 with the mandate to preserve and promote the rich cultural and traditional heritage of our Nation. Having declared the preservation and promotion of our national heritage as one of the cornerstones of our development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, the Commission took the responsibility of promoting and preserving thereof. However, to invigorate the commission, it was reconstituted in 1995 as the Solzin Lhentshog with 15 members. Following the devolution of the executive authority to the elected council of ministers in June 1998, the SCCA was reconstituted for the third time in September 1998 with 15 members for a term of three years with H.E Lyonpo Thinley Gyamtsho, the Honorable Minister, as its chairman. With the restructuring exercise of the Government Organizations, the Commission was again renamed as the National Commission for Cultural Affairs (NCCA), which later became a Department of Culture under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in 2003 vide circular No. LHENZHUNG/02/03/943 dated 19 June 2003.
The Department of Culture is the central agency for the realization of a harmonious and progressive society through preservation, protection, development, and promotion of the shared ideals & values and the unique cultural identity and its expressions.
At present, there are eight divisions excluding the Department’s Secretariat and Choedhey Lhentshog (Commission for Religious Organisation).