The Kingdom of Bhutan, the land of Thunder Dragons and land of Gross National Happiness, is a land-locked country located in the divine Himalayas. It is a picturesque nation with spectacular mountainous terrain and is a seductive alternative to the hustle-bustle of urban life. It is known for its graceful simplicity, unparalleled purity and timeless charm, shrouded in mystery of the myths and fables of yore. It is marked by dense forests, majestic mountains, pristine environment and resplendent natural beauty and is an ideal destination for every discerning traveller and adventure enthusiast. This progressive nation has successfully embraced modern developments while maintaining its unique cultural identity along with hues of traditions and preserving its extravagant atmosphere. On top of all, it welcomes all tourists with open hearts.
Some facts about Bhutan:
• King – Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck; Queen – Jetsun Pema
• The King of Bhutan is known as the Druk Gyalpo, meaning the “Thunder Dragon King”
• Capital city – Thimphu; Financial centre – Pheuntsholing
• National animal – Takin; National dish – Ema Datshi, a spicy dish made with chilly and cheese
• National dress – Kho (men) and Kira (women); Official language –Dzongkha
• Currency – ngultrum, whose value is fixed to the Indian rupee, which is also accepted as legal tender in the country
• Buddhism is the major religion of Bhutan with Hinduism the second major. Moreover, Bhutanese are deeply superstitious people
• Cultural activities of Bhutan include masked dances, dance dramas accompanied by traditional music at festivals
• Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy, with a parliamentary form of government and held its first general election in 2008
• Life expectancy – 62.2 years (61 for males and 64.5 for females) according to the latest data from the World Bank
• Forest Cover – 72% of the land area
Some interesting things to know about Bhutan:
• Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia, and the eighth in the world, despite widespread poverty and illiteracy. According to a survey, beautiful mountain scenery, isolated culture and strong sense of national identity are reasons for the contentment of its citizens
• Bhutan is the first country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco under its Tobacco Act of 2010 and its citizens take great pride in it
• Television was banned until 1999, when the then King Jigme Singye Wangchuck felt it would help to modernize his isolated kingdom
• Bhutan’s national sport is a form of archery in which rival teams face each other across a field, and fire sharp arrows at one another, while each team waves its arms to distract their opponents. Players battle it out wearing national costume.
• Bhutan’s per capita income is the second-highest in SAARC after the Maldives
• Though rare, polygamy is accepted in order to keep property in a contained family unit rather than dispersing it
• In Bhutanese families, inheritance is generally passed through the females rather than the males i.e. the daughters inherit their parents’ house and the man has to move to his wife’s house.
• First country in the world with 100 percent organic farming
• Paro Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan
• Bhutan is said to be the ‘philatelist paradise’with stamps having detailed images, bright and lively colours and with a high numismatic value
• Various souvenirs that may be picked up from Bhutan include hand-woven textiles, Yatras or Yethras (colorful strips of wool cloth, dyed with natural colours, which are used to create blankets, jackets, bags and carpets), Buddhist paintings (usually made of cloth), Dzi stones, brass statues of Buddha saints, Vajra bells, Dorje bells used for religious rituals, cymbals, Bhutanese violins, Tibetan trumpets and prayer wheels
Visa is not required.
|Currency used||Bhutanese ngultrum|
|Area (km2)||38,394 km2|