You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Bhutan .
Bhutan is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by China to the north and India to the south east and west. Nepal and Bangladesh are located in proximity to Bhutan but do not share a land border. The country has a population of over 754,000 and a territory of 38,394 square kilometers (14,824 sq mi) which ranks 133rd in terms of land area, and 160th in population. Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy with Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion.
The subalpine Himalayan mountains in the north rise from the country's lush subtropical plains in the south. In the Bhutanese Himalayas, there are peaks higher than 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) above sea level. Gangkhar Puensum is Bhutan's highest peak and may also be the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The wildlife of Bhutan is notable for its diversity, including the Himalayan takin. The largest city in Bhutan is the capital Thimphu.
Bhutan and neighboring Tibet experienced the spread of Buddhism which originated in the Indian subcontinent during the lifetime of Gautama Buddha. In the first millennium, the Vajrayana school of Buddhism spread to Bhutan from the southern Pala Empire of Bengal. Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim and parts of Nepal became the vestiges of the Mahayana schools amid the decline of Buddhism in India. Bhutan also came under the influence of the Tibetan Empire. During the 16th-century, Ngawang Namgyal unified the valleys of Bhutan into a single state. Namgyal defeated three Tibetan invasions, subjugated rival religious schools, codified the Tsa Yig legal system, and established a government of theocratic and civil administrators. Namgyal became the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche and his successors acted as the spiritual leaders of Bhutan like the Dalai Lama in Tibet. During the 17th century, Bhutan controlled large parts of northeast India, Sikkim and Nepal; it also wielded significant influence in Cooch Behar State. Bhutan ceded the Bengal Duars to British India during the Bhutan War in the 19th century. The House of Wangchuck emerged as the monarchy and pursued closer ties with the British in the subcontinent. In 1910, a treaty guaranteed British advice in foreign policy in exchange for internal autonomy in Bhutan. The arrangement continued under a new treaty with India in 1949 in which both countries recognized each other's sovereignty. Bhutan joined the United Nations in 1971. It has since expanded relations with 55 countries, including Bangladesh, Israel, Kuwait, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, and Turkey; as well as the European Union. While dependent on the Indian military, Bhutan maintains its own military units.
The 2008 Constitution establishes a parliamentary government with an elected National Assembly and a National Council. Bhutan is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). In 2020, Bhutan ranked third in South Asia after Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Human Development Index. Bhutan is also a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the Non-Aligned Movement, BIMSTEC, the IMF, the World Bank, UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO). Bhutan ranked first in SAARC in economic freedom, ease of doing business, peace and lack of corruption in 2016. Bhutan has one of the largest water reserves for hydropower in the world. Melting glaciers caused by climate change are a growing concern in Bhutan.
Foods in Bhutan :
(1) Ema Datshi – (chilies and cheese) :
If there is one national dish to eat when touring Bhutan, this is it. It’s so ubiquitous that some say if you haven’t eaten ema datshi, you haven’t been to Bhutan. The locals eat the stew, which is similar to a curry, daily along with red rice. It’s made of green, yellow or red chilies, yak or cow’s milk cheese, onions and tomatoes. Taste very carefully, though. The chilies of Bhutan are high up on the Scoville Heat Scale and are meant to make you warm enough to sweat.
(2) Jasha Maroo or Maru – (spicy chicken) :
Although this mix of chilies, onion, tomato, garlic, coriander leaves and ginger is usually made with finely diced chicken, you will occasionally find it made with beef. Though often called a stew, there’s actually a hefty portion of liquid (chicken broth) in the finished dish. Like most Bhutanese food, it is served with red rice.
(3) Phaksha Paa – (Pork with Red Chilies) :
A classic Bhutanese stew of strips of boneless pork shoulder simmered slowly until tender with mooli (daikon radish), ginger, bok choy, and–you guessed it–chili powder. When finished, the stew is topped with dried pork and fresh green chili strips and served with rice.
(4) Momos – (Dumplings) :
This is one food that Western travelers may have sampled, since the momo has immigrated to India and is quite similar to the Chinese dumpling. Throughout the Himalayas–from Nepal and Tibet to Bhutan– these steamed buns are eaten as treats. They may be stuffed with almost anything, but the typical fillings are minced pork or beef, cabbage, or fresh cheese mixed with spices such as garlic, ginger and coriander.
(5) Red Rice :
Regardless of where you eat–from the elegant Aman and Uma resorts to an outdoor village festival, you will get red rice. Red rice is to Bhutanese food as bread is to the American table, but the rice is probably healthier. That’s because the rice paddies of Bhutan’s Paro Valley where the red rice is grown are irrigated with mineral-rich glacier water. Just one serving of Bhutanese red rice will give you 80 percent of your daily requirement for manganese and 20 percent of your need for phosphorus.The red color of the uncooked rice comes from the cancer-fighting antioxidant, the flavonoid anthocyanin. As it cooks, the color fades to a paler red or pink and the texture becomes soft and sticky.
Weather & geography in Bhutan :
Bhutan's climate is as varied as its altitudes and, like most of Asia, is affected by monsoons. ... In the south, a hot, humid climate helps maintain a fairly even temperature range of between 15 C and 30 C year-round, although temperatures sometimes reach 40 C in the valleys during the summer.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a sovereign nation, located towards the eastern extreme of the Himalayas mountain range. It is fairly evenly sandwiched between the sovereign territory of two nations: first, the People's Republic of China on the north and northwest. There are approximately 477 kilometres of border with that nation's Tibet Autonomous Region. The second nation is the Republic of India on the south, southwest, and east; there are approximately 659 kilometres with the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, and Sikkim, in clockwise order from the kingdom. Bhutan's total borders amount to 1,139 kilometres. The Republic of Nepal to the west, the People's Republic of Bangladesh to the south, and the Union of Myanmar to the southeast are other close neighbours; the former two are separated by only very small stretches of Indian territory.
Bhutan is a very compact nation, but with just a small bit more length than width. The nation's territory totals an approximate 38,394 square kilometres. Because of its inland, landlocked status, it controls no territorial waters. Bhutan's territory used to extend south into present-day Assam, including the protectorate of Cooch Behar, but, starting from 1772, the British East India Company began to push back the borders through a number of wars and treaties, severely reducing Bhutan's size until the Treaty of Sinchula of 1865, when some border land was ceded back. Later, many of these territories were permanently lost to British India under the Treaty of Punakha.
Per day Cost in Bhutan :
As of now, all foreign tourists in Bhutan, with the exception of Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians, pay $250 per person per day in the high season, and $200 per person per day in the low season.
History of Bhutan :
Bhutan's early history is steeped in mythology and remains obscure. Some of the structures provide evidence that the region has been settled as early as 2000 BC. According to a legend it was ruled by a Cooch-Behar king, Sangaldip, around the 7th century BC, but not much is known prior to the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism in the 9th century, when turmoil in Tibet forced many monks to flee to Bhutan. In the 12th century, the Drukpa Kagyupa school was established and remains the dominant form of Buddhism in Bhutan today. The country's political history is intimately tied to its religious history and relations among the various monastic schools and monasteries.
Bhutan is one of only a few countries which has been independent throughout her history, never conquered, occupied, or governed by an outside power (notwithstanding occasional nominal tributary status). Although there has been speculation that it was under the Kamarupa Kingdom or the Tibetan Empire in the 7th to 9th centuries, firm evidence is lacking. From the time historical records are clear, Bhutan has continuously and successfully defended its sovereignty.The consolidation of Bhutan occurred in 1616 when Ngawanag Namgyal, a lama from western Tibet known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, defeated three Tibetan invasions, subjugated rival religious schools, codified the Tsa Yig, an intricate and comprehensive system of law, and established himself as ruler over a system of ecclesiastical and civil administrators. After his death, infighting and civil war eroded the power of the Zhabdrung for the next 200 years. In 1885 Ugyen Wangchuck was able to consolidate power, and began cultivating closer ties with the British in the subcontinent.
In 1907, Ugyen Wangchuck was elected as the hereditary ruler of Bhutan, crowned on December 17, 1907, and installed as the head of state, the Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King). In 1910, King Ugyen and the British signed the Treaty of Punakha which provided that British India would not interfere in the internal affairs of Bhutan if the country accepted external advice in its external relations. When Ugyen Wangchuck died in 1926, his son Jigme Wangchuck became the ruler, and when India gained independence in 1947, the new Indian Government recognized Bhutan as an independent country. In 1949, India and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which provided that India would not interfere in Bhutan's internal affairs, but would guide its foreign policy. Succeeded in 1952 by his son Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Bhutan began to slowly emerge from its isolation and began a program of planned development. The National Assembly of Bhutan, the Royal Bhutanese Army, and the Royal Court of Justice were established, along with a new code of law. Bhutan became a member of the United Nations in 1971.
In 1972, Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascended the throne at age 16. He emphasized modern education, decentralization of governance, the development of hydroelectricity and tourism and improvements in rural developments. He was perhaps best known internationally for his overarching development philosophy of "gross national happiness." It recognizes that there are many dimensions to development and that economic goals alone are not sufficient. Satisfied with Bhutan's transitioning democratization process, he abdicated in December 2006 rather than wait until the promulgation of the new constitution in 2008. His son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, became King upon his abdication.
Language in Bhutan :
Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan used mainly in the country's western region. Hindi is the official language of India, but it was previously used in Bhutanese classrooms. Bhutan is a multilingual country where approximately 20 languages are commonly spoken.
Culture of Bhutan :
Bhutan’s culture is strongly based on its Tibetan form of Mahayana Buddhism, which contains a sprinkling of Tibet’s ancient Bon shamanist religion. The country’s rich heritage, protected by Bhutan’s isolation from the modern world until the 1960’s, is still very much in evidence. For most visitors to the country, Bhutan’s traditions and uniqueness are the main attractions, just ahead of its spectacular and mostly unspoiled natural beauty.
Bhutanese national dress is still worn across the country, and its design is tightly linked to class and social status. Men wear a belted, knee-length robe and women wear ankle length dresses, again belted at the waist. The texture of the fabric, its colors, its embroideries, and its woven decorations all determine the wearer’s class, as do the colors of the scarves and shawls carried by women. In Bhutan, traditionally a feudal society, status plays a strong part in human interaction.Bhutanese law requires the wearing of the national costume in all public places, especially during the many religious festivals. These occasions see women in their finest, bedecked with heavy jewelry which is ornamented with coral and uncut turquoise stones. Family life revolves around the temples, and inheritance passes through the female line. Arranged marriages are common in rural areas and, occasionally, polygamy is an accepted state.
Etiquette here is important, with a government ministry responsible for maintaining the standards and prerequisites of clothing, eating, speech, and respect to officials and the Buddhist clergy. The long-protected indigenous forms of the Buddha’s teachings are preserved by a charitable institution set up in 2002. The two main languages of Bhutan, Sharchop and Dzongkha, are closely related to the Tibetan language, while Bhutanese art with its innumerable divine beings is closely related to Tibetan art.The Bhutanese national sports of archery and digor, which involves the throwing of horseshoes and metal balls, are firmly rooted in the cultural heritage of the country. Archery contests are regularly held, and involve as much a social element as competition. Dancing, music, food, and drink are part of the riotous challenges between villages, with local supporters doing their best to distract the rival team. Another popular team sport involves throwing heavy wooden darts at a target between 30 and 60 feet away.
Place to visit in Bhutan :
(2) Buddha Dordenma Statue
(4) Taktsang Monastery
(5) Rinpung Dzong
(6) Punakha Dzong
Hotel in Bhutan :
(1) Tiger Nest Resort
(2) Le Meridien Paro, Riverfront
(3) Centennial Hotel 2008
(4) Taj Tashi
(5) The Village Lodge, Jalikhar Bumthang
How to reach in Bhutan :
The best way to reach Bhutan is by air. The only international airport in Bhutan is in Paro and it is called Paro International Airport. It is around 7 kms from the city. It has connecting flights from various cities such as Mumbai and Guwahati.
Travel Guide for Bhutan : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).