Historical knowledge production about Bhutan by outsiders has generally relied upon the dominant lens of understanding the place and people through accounts that combine narratives of travel and strategy. In this article, I interrogate the complexly layered itinerary of such accounts to demonstrate how their imperial ethos has either been ignored or underplayed. I critically analyse the systematicity, selectivity, and the positionality in knowledge-making on Bhutan. I find that imperial knowledge production endeavour tends to be projected as casual and unintentional, innocent of its biases, unaware of its calculations, and oblivious to how it prioritises its own interests at the expense of the native Others and their worldviews. Thus, the sourcing of knowledge on Bhutan is linked to the histories of power in the region and marked by asymmetries in terms of whose views were heard and reproduced over time. Understanding the politics of knowledge-making on Bhutan -- constructed as a peripheral non-Western region of the world, and having been subjected to multiple and overlapping imperial forces -- has the potential to inform, and be informed by, other similar understudied areas.