Bhutan : The Mystical Dragon Kingdom
A abode in the heart of the vast Himalayan region, but little known to the outside world just being wedged between giant neighbors and secluded by some of the highest mountain ranges. A Hidden in the mighty Himalayas, between India and China, the independent Bhutanese people have largely lived a life of totally isolation from the world. They have succeeded in maintaining their cultural and spiritual heritage preserved in age-old traditions. Bhutan- the last paradise on the earth reflects age-old
religion, culture, arts & architecture in its golden peaks in the background of deep green valley and hillside.
Bhutan exudes a special a feeling of calm and serenity,
which envelops each the very instant they set foot in
the Kingdom. People are deeply religious following the
Mahayana form of Buddhism. The air of spirituality is
evident. Even in the urban centers where the spinning
of prayer wheels the murmur of mantras and the glow of
butter lamp in the houses are still important feature
of everyday life. Monastery, temples and religious monuments
are doted across the landscape, bearing witness to the
importance of Buddhism. Different age of monks are everywhere
Bhutan is very rich at Himalayan flora and fauna. Nearly
three quarters of the total area covered by jungle. Snow-capped
peaks lush valleys and unbelievably beautiful rural landscapes
imprint themselves upon the mind forever. We heartily
welcome you to join one of our tours package to explore
the country, touch & experience it in Himalayan Asia
Nepal-Bhutan Tour Package programs:
HAT058. Cultural tour of Bhutan - 12days-Kathmandu, Paro, Thimpu, Punakha
HAT059. The Dragon Kingdom Tour (Extension) - 4days – Paro, Thimpu, Punakha
HAT060. Land of Thunder Dragon Tour - 11days – Paro, Drukgyaldzong, Taksang, Wangdi, Gangtey, Thimpu, Kathmandu
HAT061. Chomolhari trek - 16days – Kathmandu, Paro, Thangbu, Lingshi etc.
History of Bhutan
Peoples of Bhutan
Geography of Bhutan
Location of Bhutan : Southern Asia, between China and
Area of Bhutan : 47,000 sq km
Area - comparative : about half the size of Indiana
Land Boundaries : 1,075 km
Border Countries : China 470 km, India 605 km
Coastline : 0 km (landlocked)
Climate of Bhutan : varies; tropical in southern plains;
cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe
winters and cool summers in Himalayas
Elevation extremes: Lowest Point : Drangme Chhu 97 m Highest
Point : Kula Kangri 7,553 m
Natural Resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium
Bhutan's climate is as diverse as it's land. Depending
on the altitude, area and amount of sunlight, the climate
can range from bitter cold to a humid, hot tropical climate.
The precipitation that Bhutan gets comes between the months
of June to September and averages for the year about 25
inches (650 mm). A small country covering a little over
18,000 sq mile (47,000 sq km), Bhutan's land is very varied.
Snow peaks in the Himalayas, swamps and highlands are
just some of the land conditions that are found in a short
range from each other. The three main areas in Bhutan
are the Great Himalayan Region, Middle Himalayan Region
and the Duars.
The Duars, a plain only 5-8 miles wide (8-13 km), are
located along the Indian border and have a tropical climate.
The northern section of the Duars is home to wildlife
such as tigers and deer with its rugged, coarse terrain.
The southern portion of the Duars is cultivated for rice,
but had at one time been a jungle filled with bamboo.The
Middle Himalayan region is part of the Himalayan range
that spreads down from the north and surrounds rich, broad
valleys. The valleys, with their mild climate are cultivated
and populated. The rainfall in this region is average,
not humid and wet like the Duars.
The Great Himalayan Region borders Tibet and is relatively
uninhabitable. The highest peak in Bhutan is located here,
Kula Kangri. The high valleys are home to a few people,
but the main inhabitants in the bitterly cold climate
are Bhutanese yaks.
History of Bhutan
Not much is identified with Bhutan's history before the
7th century, which is when Buddhism was introduced. After
this time, the chronicles kept by Buddhists record Bhutan's
history. Buddhism was brought in to Bhutan when feudal
lords in their separate valleys, not a central government,
ruled the country.After monks from the Kargyupa sect of
Mahayana Buddhism built monasteries throughout the valleys,
the Drukpa subsect became the most popular form of religion.
A Drukpa monk, Ngawang Namgyal, started the first formal
government in 1616 - that of a theocratic government.
Namgyal was able to unite the influential Bhutanese families,
this after he defeated many challengers’ subsect
Namgyal's government consisted of two leaders - one
with spiritual responsibilities (dharma raja) and the
other with civil responsibilities (deb raja). This split
form of government continued until the early 1900's. Conflict
occurred in Bhutan approximately 100 years after the deb
raja formed a peace treaty with the English East India
Company. Rivalry was rampant between two governors in
Bhutan (of Tongsa and Paro) who held staunchly opposite
views toward the British. Ugyen Wangchuck, the pro-British
governor, was able to unite the country after defeating
all his opponents.
In 1907 Ugyen Wangchuck became the first druk gyalpo
of Bhutan and he ruled from 1907 to 1926. Jigme Wangchuck,
Ugyen's son, ruled from 1926 to 1952 and was followed
by Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who ruled from 1953 to 1972.
The fourth druk gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck began his
reign in 1972.
Peoples of Bhutan
The official estimate of Bhutan's population in 1990 was
about 600,000 but other sources estimate the population
for 2000 was just under 2 million. Those living in Bhutan
of Nepali origin have been excluded from the official
census since 1990 which results in such a large discrepancy
in population numbers.
Bhutan has four major ethic groups: Bhutia, Sharchops,
Nepali, and other indigenous groups. The Bhutia, who are
descended from Tibetans, live in the central and northern
regions of Bhutan. This ethnic group basically dominates
politics in Bhutan particularly with its contribution
of government officials and monks that come from it.
Believed to be Bhutan's earliest settlers, the Sharchops
live in the southeastern and eastern region. They speak
both Tibeto-Burman languages as well as Hindi.
The Nepali people are the latest immigrants to Bhutan.
Living in the southwestern and south central section of
Bhutan, immigration of Nepali's has been forbidden by
the Bhutanese government since 1959. Fear of Bhutan becoming
too heavily populated with Nepalis brought about this
and the ban on living in the central Himalayan region.
Bhutan traditions and culture are to be retained and not
dilute Bhutanese distinctiveness.
There are small groups of ethnic minorities that live
all throughout Bhutan with the largest group living in
the Duars. This group is related to those groups living
in India's Assam and Bangla states.