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BHUTAN TOURISM

Bhutan, popularly known as “the Land of Thunder Dragon”, is a sovereign state in South Asia. Bhutan is a landlocked country nestled in laps of the Himalayas. The land comprises mostly of high and steep mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which forms deep valleys. The world’s highest unclimbed peak, Gangkhar Puensum at 24,836 feet, is standing tall in this country only. This place seems like a place straight out of the coffee table books with majestic and mighty landscapes of the Himalayas towering over the lush green array of lands through the verdure to unravel into a haven of snow. The official language  is Dzongkha.

The people of Bhutan take pride in having the sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of ‘Gross National Happiness’, which is the general prosperity measuring the index of Bhutanese. The people of the country are more concerned about how happy the people are rather than being concerned about how financially stable the person is like the rest of the world does. Bhutan is a tiny world in itself. Bhutan tourism is self-sustained, and compassion and empathy are more like the official language of the people here. Because of all this philosophy and efforts to keep the residents as well as visitors happy, Bhutan has been continually ranked as the happiest country in Asia and the 8th happiest country in the world according to a survey by the Business Week.

Bhutan is a land of many surprises. It is not just another tourist place. It is the one and the only Himalayan Kingdom currently, cloaked in mystery and magic, where still a traditional culture of Buddhism welcomes the global development. This surprising country has red rice and chillies aren’t just seasonings but is considered a main dish, and most Bhutanese people do not enjoy the meal if it’s not spicy. It is also a deeply Buddhist Land, where monks check their smartphones after completing the divination. One can evidently notice that Bhutanese are very well educated, fun loving and well informed about the world around them.

The people of this country also have a strong reverence for nature and the country leads in environmental conservation. According to the law here, minimum of 60% of the country’s land should remain forested for the future generations and it currently stands at above 70%. The tobacco control act regulates tobacco, putting a stop to the cultivation, harvesting, production and the sale of Tobacco in Bhutan. ‘The Land of Thunder Dragon’ is not only a carbon neutral country, but it actually absorbs more amount of carbon than it emits. It is this fusion of ancient and modern traditions and ways that make Bhutan Tourism very mesmerizing and fascinating.

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History of Bhutan

For many centuries, Bhutan was an unknown place for the outside world. This magical land was wrapped in a cloak of mystery. The Tibetan people in the 18th century referred the country as “Hidden Holy Land”, “The Southern valley of Medicinal Herbs” and “the Lotus Garden of the Gods”. But the people of Bhutan have had a name for their country and called it Druk-yul, literally meaning “the Land of The Thunder Dragon”, and still refer the country by this name.

The history of the place dates back to 2000 BC when an aboriginal Bhutanese, called Monpa, are believed to have migrated from Tibet to here. The official recording dates back to the 7th century when the Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche arrived here and introduced Buddhism to the nation. Guru Rinpoche is almost as esteemed as the Buddha himself and is also called “the Second Buddha” by the people of Bhutan. He came here on the back of tiger to summon the evil spirits residing in Bhutan, as believed by the people.

The country was first unified by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in the 17th century who came from Tibet and instantly he consolidated his power and defeated three invasion kings and also established a comprehensive system of law and governance. His system of rules soon faded away after his demise and the country fell into in-fighting and civil war amongst the different local rulers. This chaos ended when Trongsa Penlop Ugyen Wangchuk was able to gain control and with the help of the people he established himself as the first hereditary King in 1907 and became the first Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and set up the Wangchuk Dynasty that still rules the land today.

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FAQ on Bhutan Tourism

A: Bhutan is a small landlocked country situated in the Eastern Himalayas between India and China.

A: Bhutan can be visited during the duration of September to November and during February to April as the climate is pleasant and it offers the best of nature during these months and offers an opportunity for other activities such as adventure sports.

A: All international tourist requires a visa to enter in the country of Bhutan which must be pre-arranged through the licenced Bhutanese Tour operator. For people with Indian Passports, Bangladeshi nationals and people of Maldives, visa is given at the entry only.

A: Bhutan can be reached by two ways that is via air and via road. There is one international Airport in Bhutan that is located in Paro. Several flights fly into Bhutan from many major countries of the world. There are only two airline, Druk Airline and Tashi Airline. There are also three overland borders from where you can enter into Bhutan. All of the three borders are from India only.

A: There is one and only International Airport in Bhutan, located in Paro. The only airlines of Bhutan, Druk Airline and Tahsi Airline, has flights plying from major cities of the world.

A: It is a government regulation that you must use a licensed Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international associates in order to book your travel to Bhutan.

A: The people of Bhutan trade in Ngultrum currency. The value of Ngultrum is tied to the Indian currency which is acceptable here as a legal tender but still, Indian notes of 500 and 1000 are not acceptable in some context.

A: The most distinguished feature of Bhutanese Cuisine is the spiciness. Chillies are prominent part of nearly every dish of Bhutanese people and most of the people wouldn’t enjoy the meal if it is not spicy!

Rice is the staple food of the Bhutanese people and it is usually go along with one or two side dishes consisting of vegetables and meat. Beef, chicken and pork are frequently consumed meat.

A: The official language of the Bhutanese people is Dzonghka, though there are many other languages spoken that each region in the country has maintained.