Tours in Bhutan
Tours in Bhutan these days have become more popular than the early days. Bhutan is a small nation located in South Asia. Bhutan lies between China and India. It is part of the eastern Himalayan section. Thimpu is the capital city of Bhutan. Paro and Punakha are other major cities. The Thimpu and Paro Valley are the busiest regions in Bhutan. The total area of Bhutan is 38,364 sq. km. Bhutan is the second least populous country in South Asia with a population of 750,000. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. Gangkhar Puensum (7,570 m/ 24,836 ft) is the highest peak in Bhutan. Bhutan is part of the ancient silk road which connected parts of western Asia with parts of eastern Asia. Bhutan is known as Druk Yul in the local language. The meaning of this is ‘the land of the thunder dragon’.
Bhutan is a Buddhist country with 74 percent of the people as Buddhists. Most of the people follow the Vajrayana branch of Buddhism. It is the tantric branch of Buddhism. One-fourth of the people in the country are Hindus. Hydropower is the largest export of the nation. The currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum. Archery is the national game of the country. It is a hilly country with agriculture and tourism being the other main industries. The Wangchuk monarchy has ruled Bhutan since 1907. Bhutan was an absolute Monarchy until 2008. It has been a constitutional monarchy since then.
Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan is located in South Asia. The Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China is located in the north of Bhutan. The Indian state of Sikkim and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet lie on the west of Bhutan. The Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh lies on the east of the country. The Indian state of Assam and West Bengal lie in the south of Bhutan. Bhutan is located on the eastern end of the great Himalayan range, which stretches up to Afghanistan in the west. Bhutan is a hilly country that mainly relies on agro and tourism. The central location of Bhutan is 27 degrees north latitude and 89 degrees east longitude.
Bhutan lies on the parts of the ancient silk route. The silk route was a famed trading route between Europe, the Arab world, China and the south and east Asian countries. Bhutan connected the western nations in the silk route with the ones in the east part of it. It was also an ancient outlet between the Tibetan plateau and the Indian subcontinent. Bhutan has never been colonized by foreign powers in its history, thus making it only the second country in South Asia – after Nepal – to never have been colonized.
Bhutan is a tourist paradise. It is located between the greater Himalayan Belt and the Lesser Himalaya Belt. Bhutan is known as the land of the thunder dragon. This is because of the light and thunder that is so common in the country. The light is linked with the fire of the dragon that is part of the myth in Bhutan. More than 60 percent of the country falls in the protected forests. Bhutan is a carbon-negative country that absorbs more carbon than it emits in the environment. Bhutan is the only country in the world where tobacco is banned and almost all of the agro products in the country are organic. All of these factors make Bhutan a top choice for tourists.
There is a minimum daily expense limit of 250 dollars for tourists in Bhutan. Bhutan does this so that it can promote sustainable and high-end service to tourists without harming its pristine and fragile ecosystem. There are limited means of transport in Bhutan and Paro is the only airport in the country. Bhutan welcomes about 200,000 tourists per year despite the spending limit and the lack of tourist-related infrastructure. The most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan are Paro, Punakha, Taktsang Monastery, Bung Sang, Gangtey, etc. The Taktsang Monastery is also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It is perched on the side of a steep mountain. It provides a great look at the valley and the wide country below.
History of Bhutan
Different excavations and archaeological records have pointed out that Bhutan has been settled for millennia. The Monpa and the Lhotsampa are the main inhabitants of Bhutan. Most of the population and language are Tibetan. The national language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. It is one of the 53 languages in the Tibetan family. Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century AD. It was introduced to Bhutan by Tibetan King Tsongtsan Gampo. He had extended the Tibetan empire up to Bhutan at that time thus Buddhism came to Bhutan with him through the northern valleys of the country.
There is a very little written record about the ancient history of Bhutan. It is because a huge fire that broke out in 1827 destroyed most of the old Bhutanese capital city of Punakha. The fire also destroyed most of the preserved historical records of the country along with many lives and countless loss of property. Different regions of Bhutan were ruled by various sects of Buddhism by the 10th century. The daily life and rules of the people had an influence of the Yuan Dynasty in China, until its decline in the 14th century.
The Drukpa Buddhists took over the main control of the state of Bhutan in the 16th century. Tibetan Lama and military leader Namyang Namgyal finally united Bhutan completely at the end of the 17th century. The Wangchuk dynasty took over the control of Bhutan in the latter half of the 19th century. The dynasty has been in power ever since. Bhutan witnessed its first-ever parliamentary election in 2008 and has recently turned into a constitutional monarchy from absolute monarchy.
Geography and Climate of Bhutan
Bhutan is located in the eastern end of the Himalayan range. It is located on the southern side of the Tibetan plateau. The northern region of Bhutan is full of tall mountains and alpine hills. The highest of the mountains in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum (7,570 m/ 24,840 ft). It is probably the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. The southern part of Bhutan is plain with an average altitude of about 100 meters. The main rivers of Bhutan flow out of this plain into India. Most of the major settlement areas in Bhutan like Paro and Thimpu are valleys. The climate of Bhutan is mostly subtropical in the southern part. As we go north, we will see the mountains rise steeply. The climate changes to alpine and arctic in the northernmost border with Tibet. This section is home to some of the highest mountains in the eastern Himalayan region.
Here is the list of some of the popular Tours in Bhutan: