‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’
Identified as one of the 10 bio-diversity hot spots in the world, the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is a destination that many travelers consider a privilege to visit.
From the landscapes of snow-clad mountains, lush valleys, dense forests to fascinating colorful festivals and rituals, stunning ancient fortresses, Bhutan has it all. The people of Bhutan have drawn a rich culture from this heritage and made it the essence of their timeless identity, making Bhutan one of its kind.
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Bhutan is a tiny landlocked nation on the Southern slopes of the Himalayan mountains squashed between China in the North and India to the South, East and West. The last bastion of Mahayana Buddhism, the country has scores of temples, monasteries, fortresses, each with a story to tell and a welcoming friendly people.
The Bhutanese state was unified in the early 17th century when it developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Headed by a spiritual leader known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the territory composed of many fiefdoms and was governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Following a civil war in the 19th century, the House of Wangchuck reunited the country. In 2008, it transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and had its first National Assemble election
The first motor road in 1960s opened doors to tourism in 1974. 35 years later, television and Internet were introduced in 1999. The national development policy is based on Gross National Happiness (GNH), which values spiritual wellbeing over material wealth.
Majority of Bhutanese have no problem speaking English as its studied along with Dzongkha, the national language from the starting of schooling.
Here are highlights to give you better idea of our country:
Festivals: There is a lot of festival happening throughout the year of the country. Festival are a huge deal for Bhutanese people during which they gather with their friends and family and get dressed in their best clothes. Its a tradition for us to eat together, so most people bring picnic lunches. The highlight of the festival is the varieties of Buddhist mask dances, each believed to have a significant of their own
Flora & Fauna: Bhutan is famous for its scenic and pristine nature. Covered with 73% forest cover, the forest-rich country boasts nine national parks, wildlife sanctuaries with nearly 200 mammals, 770 species of birds and 7000 plants, which include 360 orchid species, 46 types of rhododendron and over 500 species of medicinal species growing profusely in the wild and the meadows
People: Bhutanese have the reputation of being easy going, opened minded and friendly, they are also very helpful and most speck good English.
Bhutan has a population of about 7 lakhs
Architecture: By law, all buildings (houses, stores and hotels) must reflects traditional architecture. As a result of this law, cities in Bhutan look like a picturesque of colorful rustic buildings that line up on the street. Each house shows a great woodwork on door and windows
- Embled Royal Crest – Locally called Druk khaptap, it has two dragons with a thunderbolt in the center. Its is the official and the National Emblem of the country
- Animal- Takin has been chosen as the national animals because its unique, rare and native to Bhutan. It is also closely associated to religious history and mythology of the country
- National Flag – The national flag of Bhutan is divided diagonally with a white dragon in the center of the flag. The dragon is snarling and clutches jewels in its claws
- Bird – Raven – It represents one of the most powerful deities of the country, Jarong Dongchen. Raven is thus known in the local language as “Jarong”
- Dress- Gho for men and Kira for women
- Tree- Cypress – Locally known as Tsenden
- Flower- Blue Poppy – Locally known as Euitgel Metog
- Sport- Archery – Its is an exclusively male sport but women do participate in the rituals of the dancing accompany the game and give verbal encouragement to the archers
What leading travelogues say about Bhutan:
“This peaceful nation … is emerging as a big draw, attracting those in search of a spiritual journey, a hiking adventure — or just a chance to experience a place before the rest of the world gets there.”
– The New York Times
” …scarcely touched by the modern age.”
– National Geographic
“Bhutan is the new must-see destination in southern Asia.”
– The New York Times
” The religion defines the landscape in Bhutan. A hill is not a hill, but the hump of a demon’s back. A lake is the hiding spot of a holy treasure.”
– Travel & Leisure
” Bhutan may be the last country on earth that can boast the traveler’s most precious adjective: unchanged. ”
– Summit Guide