Bhutan

Bhutan

History:  Like the people of Gorkha, a small village in Nepal, which unified Nepal and gave the name Gorkha similarly Drukpa, a Buddhist religious sect, unified Bhutan in 17th century and gave the name Druk-yul. When Tibet was already under Buddhist religion, the Mongoloid people living in its southern border across the himalaya inhabited the land for centuries. For the people who lived in the plain of Brahaputra and influenced by Indus civilization Bhutan was part of Bhot meaning Tibet. It is believed that Kiratas, a mongoloid dynasty, migrated from Burma early in the history of Bhutan formed bulk of the ethnic group. Later in 19th century the reverse migration from Nepal settled Nepalese in the southern plain of Bhutan. Bhutan is also known by the name DrukYul. and colourful culture.

Topography:  Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by China in the north and the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and West Bengal in the east, west and south. Area of the country is  47,000sq. km. Ancient land of Druk Yul is a natural paradise. It has green valleys, clean rural setting and the air is pure.

Northern belt is mountainous country with peaks that reaches height of 7000 meter. Elevation from central belt rises dramatically from 3000 to 4000 meter. There are very few villages and well-marked trail unlike in the mountain of Nepal. Nomad and yak herders inhabit the mountain in the north. We arrange trek in these areas of western Bhutan.

Bhutan is almost hidden in the eastern Himalayas located between India and China (Tibet). Its size is as big as Switzerland, but sparsely inhabited. Only  about 6.99,000 people lives in this hidden land. Capital Thimphu has a population of 50,000. The magnificent mountain in the north and lustful and dense forests in the south cover almost 70% of landmass.

Culture:   Buddhism is part of the culture It is the only country with state religion National religion is tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism. People speak Dzongkha, Nepali and English. They are delightful, Bhutanese are also known as Drukpas. It has magnificent architectures, and above all the religion is mythical and intriguing. For the occasional visitor, Bhutan is really Shangri-la, a mythical country hidden deep in the mountains..Almost 90% of the population are engaged in agriculture and raising livestock, Tantric Buddhism as established by Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rimpoche,  took its root firmly in Bhutan when Buddhism in Tibet was undergoing deep turmoil. It is believed that Sikkim and Bhutan was chosen to preserve the Buddhist text as practice in Tibet.

Travel to Bhutan:  There are several schedule flights from Kathmandu to Paro. You can also fly in and out of Bangkok, Kolkotta or Delhi. Overland journey from Silguri or Bagdogra is also possible. You should check the situation.  Travel to Bhutan individually or in group is possible, but tourist must travel on a pre-planned programme. There is some flexibility when situation demands, however prior information and advise from TAB officials would help. Tourism Authority of Bhutan (TAB) advises you to come in a group. The group can be as small as one or two people. But there is price advantage in group tour.

By Air: The easiest way to enter into Bhutan is by air.  Druk-Air, Bhutan's only national carrier flies to Paro from Kathmandu. You can fly from Bangkok, Delhi, and Dhaka too.  Druk Air's fleet consists of two British Aerospace jets, BAe 146s, Book early to avoid flight constraint.  Paro airport is located in the mountains. The weather condition may prevent aircraft from landing or take off. To avoid missed connection allow extra day for delay. 

By land: Bhutan is connected by road that link its southern entry point-Phuntsaling with Nepal eastern border town of Kakarbhita. The overland journey between Kathmandu to Kakarbhita is 605 km. (12 hour), and the drive to Phuntsaling is about 4 hours.  The other alternative is to fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur (near Kakarbhita) and  drive onward from Kakarbhita.

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