The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan - the Land of the Thunder Dragon and an unconquered Land
It is a matter of great pride to the Bhutanese that their small kingdom was never colonised. Its ancient history, which is a mixture of the oral tradition and classical literature, tells of a largely self-sufficient population, which had limited contact with the outside world until the turn of the century.
Landlocked between China in the north and India in the south, east and west, Bhutan is a small country with an area of 46,500 square kilometers. Its geography is characteristic of the Eastern Himalayas with elevation ranging from 150 meters above sea level in the south to more than 7,300 meters in the north.
Bhutan is divided into three zones. The southern zone is characteristic of low foothills and dense tropical forests. With an average temperature of 20 degrees centigrade, this region is hot and humid. The central zone is situated between 2000 and 3500 meters. While the climate in the lower valleys is semi-tropical, most of the region is alpine with a monsoon. The central zone is divided into three regions: Western Bhutan, Central Bhutan, and Eastern Bhutan. The northern zone stretches from west to east between 6800 meters to 7400 meters, forming part of the Great Himalayas.
Among the earliest landmarks of Bhutanese history visible today are two seventh-century monasteries, the Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang. Both these deeply revered monasteries have been preserved and developed over the centuries.
In the eight century Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava), established several sacred religious sites, which are important places of pilgrimage for the Buddhist world today.
Bhutan is the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom in the world. The lush green valleys, virgin forests, clear fast flowing rivers and an enthralling landscape have made Bhutan an exclusive tourist destination today. The Kingdom has some of the most famous sites in the world for Buddhist pilgrims. Your Bhutan holiday can be the ultimate spiritual experience. It is home to one of the most vibrant un-spoilt traditions and exciting cultures on earth.
Bhutan is a unique country known for its scenic beauty and traditional culture dating back to centuries. The serene countryside is brought alive by colourful Tsechus (festivals) celebrated with dance and music. Religious fervour is an all pervading force - it determines the lifestyle of the people and moulds their thoughts.
The natural heritage is more rich and varied in Bhutan than any other Himalayan countries. With more than 70% of its area under forest cover, Bhutan is one of the leading countries in environmental preservation. Various parts of the Kingdom are declared as Wildlife reserves, and they are the natural habitats of rare species of both flora and fauna.
Bhutan is free of air pollution, traffic jams and any of kind of criminal activities that would definitely make your trip to Bhutan a wonderful and unique travel experience. An added bonus is the friendly charm, ready sense of humour and gracious hospitality of its people.