Bhutan is a tiny Buddhist kingdom in Asia, the size of Switzerland with its inhabitants of 700,000 people scattered across lofty mountains and deep valleys. The country’s thick untouched forests are home to some of the most fascinating endangered species in the planet.
Nature is in abundance in Bhutan and throughout ages, societies had evolved in perfect harmony with its surrounding.
Still today, majority of the Bhutanese people live off the land. Subsistence agriculture has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries and continues even today. The people speak four different languages, Dzongkha, Sharchopkha, Khengkha and Lhotshamkha.
Buddhism became popular and the ancient bon practice disappeared in the eighth century when Guru Padmasambhava, a tantric Buddhist master, visited the country to settle a dispute between two rival kings. In the 16th century, Bhutan was one of the principal states in the region and consolidated its power under the leadership of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan.
During his age, many large fortresses were built on hilltops and ridges to ward of outside invasions. These fortresses, called Dzongs were successful in defending the country multiple times. The Dzongs today, still stand as a symbol of power and houses the secular and spiritual administration of the country.
Besides the Dzongs, Bhutan is also dotted with thousands of beautiful temples and monasteries. Dzongs, temples, monasteries, prayer flags and typical traditional Bhutanese houses are common scenes in Bhutan especially in rural areas.
The Paro Taktshang or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery located in western Bhutan is considered one of the holiest sites not just for Bhutanese but for Buddhist followers over the world. Standing on the vertical face of a cliff, Guru Padmasambhava, who popularized Buddhism in Bhutan is believed to have miraculously flown a Tigress to this site and meditated.
The northern parts of Bhutan, which runs through the greater Himalayas, remain cold and snow covered through out the year. It has the most beautiful glacial lakes, ravines and some of the tallest mountain peaks in the world.
In the central parts of the country, the climate varies from mild, hot and cold between winters and summers. The deep jungles here are a paradise for many species of plants, birds and animals.
The weather is hot and humid in the foothills of the Himalayas in southern Bhutan. Today, the unique culture, and its pristine environment make Bhutan one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world.