The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. Snuggled in the folds of Eastern Himalayas, the Bhutanese state has developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. It is the only country in the world where Vajrayana Buddhism is a way of everyday life and is often known as “The Last Shangri-la”. Welcome to Bhutan – the happiest place on Earth!
The country's landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan Mountains in the north, with peaks in excess of 7,000 m. From the pictorial ancient Ruins of Drukgyel Dzong to wildlife sanctuaries & National Parks, as well as the sacred sites and places of worship, Bhutan holds a spiritual ambience. The Mask dance of the drums of Bhutan is in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Besides these, Bhutan is also well known for mountain adventure trekking and hiking.
Famous for its concept of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan is the best place to visit when you want to break away from the monotony of a hectic, stressful lifestyle. Be it the beauty of the spectacular Himalayas and wide landscapes dotted with rice-fields or the magnificent architecture of age-old monasteries and houses, Bhutan is a treat for your eyes, mind, body and soul.
The two main cities are Thimphu, the capital city and Paro, the city with only international airport in the country. The other important city is Phuentsholing which is an Indo-Bhutan border town and is one of the entry point to Bhutan by surface from India.
|Location:||Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by China in the north & Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam & West Bengal in the east, west & south.|
|Area:||38,398 sq. km.|
|Altitude:||Varying from 180 m. to 7550 m. above sea level.|
|Population:||Approx 7 hundred thousand|
|Local time:||6 hours ahead of GMT & 30 minutes ahead of IST.|
|Religion:||Mahayana Buddhism & Hinduism.|
People: Bhutanese are friendly & hospitable people. The large majority of Bhutanese people are a homogeneous group divided linguistically into three broad sub-groups. These are Sharchops, Ngalong & Lhotshampa.
Food: Staple diet is red rice, buck-wheat, wheat, maize, pork, beef, chicken, yak meat, cheese & chilies (taken as vegetable – not as spice).
Arts & Crafts: Bhutan is known for handicraft items in bronze, silver & other metals. Sculpting of religious figures is widely practiced & every temple, houses are large brightly painted & gilded statues of the Buddha & other saints.
Architecture: The castle-like Dzongs, with their gently tapering walls classic lines, large courtyards & beautiful galleries, are among the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.
Living Culture: In almost every Dzongs (fortresses that house both the monastic & the Govt. administrative wings) there is an annual traditional festival (tsechus) that normally spans 3-4 days. Colorful & well choreographed mask dances are performed during the tsechus. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar, exact dates for tsechus vary from year to year.
Places to visit in Bhutan
Phuentsholing Thimphu Wangdue Punakha Paro