Bhutan lies between 89 to 92 Degree East
& 27 to 28 Degree North
46,620 sq km
75,00 ft. (1547 m)
Best Visiting Season
March to May
& October to December
Unit of Currency
Bhutan often reversed as the
'Land of the peaceful Dragon' is still regarded as one of the last
"Shangri-La" in the Himalayan region because of its remoteness, it's
spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and it's unique
ancient Buddhist monasteries. It is relatively unexplored pockets of
Asia, which allows only limited number of discerning travelers to enter
the country with special travel visa permits.
Hidden in the Eastern Himalaya between
India and Tibet, this tiny kingdom with a population of less than one
million occupies an area about the size of Switzerland. Its boundaries
describe a lozenge shape and enclose magnificent mountains, thick
forest, crystal-clear streams, imposing monasteries perched on high
cliffs and inhabited by happy sturdy people who still seem to live in
the 16th century. Most of the people are engaged in agriculture and one
sees terraces of green fields, beautiful wooden houses with intricately
decorated windows, gaily dressed men herding yaks, women tending to
paddy, and red-robed monks wandering round the monasteries.
The lasting impression is one of religious
tradition, monasteries, antiquities and national dress. Having never
been colonized, the Bhutanese are fiercely independent, proud and know
how to respect and save their culture and traditions. They do
not mimic the West and imbibe only those ideas which they think are
necessary and not contrary to their culture traditions.
Bhutan has never been
colonized and although recorded history mentions the country in the 7th
century, its independence was recognized even before that. In the 8th
century, the great Tantrik mystic, Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche
came to Bhutan from Swat, in present-day Pakistan, and spread the
Buddhist faith. The next defining event in Bhutan's history was the
arrival of Ngawang Namgyal, the "Shabdrung" (literally, at whose feet
one submits) in 1616. The most recent watershed in Bhutan's history was
the coming to power of Ugyen Wangchuk, the first hereditary monarch of
Bhutan. Ugyen Wangchuk pacified the feuding Regional Governors who had
plunged Bhutan into a state of almost perpetual civil war.
Having consolidated his
authority across the entire country by 1885, he played the key mediator
role between the British and the Chinese. Finally, on December 17, 1907,
Ugyen Wangchuk was unanimously elected by all Regional Governors and the
Central Monastic Body, at the Punakha Dzong and crowned "Druk Gyalpo"
(literally, precious ruler of the dragon people). The present king, the
fourth hereditary monarch, is Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk, upon
whose coronation in 1974 Bhutan opened its doors to tourists.
The monsoon starts in
mid June and lasts untill end of September. The climate within the
mountain varies greatly according to precipitations and wind conditions.
In the Duars Plain and upto 1500m. The climate is sub-tropical with high
humidity and heavy rain fall. The climate of mid- mountain belt varies,
such that low- lying parts of Punakha, Mongar, Tashigang, and Lhuntse
have cool winter and hot summer, where as the higher valleys of Ha,
Paro, Thimpu, Tongsa and Bhumthang ranging from 3,000 - 4,000m endure a
temperate climate with cold snowy winter and some - what cooler summers.
Geographical Features of Bhutan
Regionally the country can be divided into
Eastern, Central and Western sectors. Western is the most important
region where the capital Thimphu, Paro airport, ancient forts and
important monasteries are located. It has five valleys: Ha, Paro,
Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdi Phodrang. Black mountain ridge, bisecting
the country N-S and coming down from Puensum Peak (7239m) on the Tibet
border, divides Western and Central Bhutan. The main road from Thimphu
to the eastern region of Tashigang crosses this ridge by the Pele La
(3350m). The national language of Bhutan is called Dzongpa, a name with
an affinity to the description of a region of forts.
You can access Bhutan
by air or road. From the airport at Paro, you can take a flight on the
National carrier, Druk Air, to Paro from Delhi or Kolkata. There are no
domestic airlines or trains in Bhutan. However the main roads are well
maintained. The main two lane highways run from west to east connecting
all the major towns and villages. The mountainous terrain and winding
roads restrict the average speed of vehicles to less than 40 km. hr. For
visitors wishing to enter Bhutan by road, the only land entry point is
though the southern boarder town of Phuentsholing, boardering West
Bhutan is the
neighboring country of India and near the border of Sikkim Darjeeling,
which is easily can be see on the Map of India. Tourists need a visa;
it should be applied at least 15 days in advance and a traveler will not
be allowed on board the plane unless visa clearance has been received
from Thimphu. A handling agent will arrange for visas and other such
Strict regulations are
in force forbidding tourist leaving with antiques and artifacts. It is
safe to purchase handicrafts and thankas (religious painted scrolls)
from the handicraft emporium. With any purchase from a shop, keep the
fully documented receipt which may be required at the time of departure.
Do not buy anything directly from villagers.
Ngultrum, called Nu, is
the Bhutanese unit of currency and has the same value as the Indian
Rupee. US Dollars, Sterling and German Mark, etc. can be exchanged at
the Bank of Bhutan in Thimphu or at main hotels.
The phone system in
Bhutan is being modernized and it is now possible to make a call to the
major cities of Europe, India, Japan, etc. Calls from Thimphu are placed
through an operator. Bhutan also has limited fax facilities.
Click for more... "Tourist Places & Adventure in Bhutan"
Hotels in Bhutan
to Main Index