Bhutan is a Buddhist country. Bhutan is sandwiched between China and India. The capital city is Thimphu.Bhutan total land covered is 38,394 square kilometers. Total population of Bhutan is 752,700. The national language is “Dzongkha”. English widely spoken by the citizen of the country. All in schools in Bhutan medium of communication is English and Dzongkha. In Bhutan main religion people believe are Tantric Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism.
History of Bhutan
The ancient period of about Bhutan that begins from the beginning till the 8th century AD. The first advent of Buddhism and subsequent buildings of Buddhist temples of Bhutan.
Founder of Bhutan Ngawang Namgyal introduced the dual system of Government. After Ngawang Namgyal’s death, successors became victims of intrigues and rivalries. Bhutan’s modern period began with the establishment of monarchy in Bhutan. He decided to shed this age-old policy and introduced the country to the outside world, bringing the country into the international mainstream. The people call themselves Drukpas.
The area of 38,394 km² km with the longitude of 88, 45’ and 92 10’ east and latitude of 26 40’ and 28 15 in the north. Bhutan is Mountainous country from the little above the sea level to High Himalayan Mountains of 7, 600 meter in the north.
Bhutan’s population is 797,765 in 2016. Comprising of four main ethicnic groups namely Sharchop in the eastern region, Kheng in the central and partly in southern region, Lhotshampa in the southern region, Ngalong in the north western regions of the country. These four groups of people become a Drukpa.
Bhutan climate experiences varied climatic conditions, depending upon different altitudes and seasons. We do have four seasons which are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Spring and autumn is great seasons to travel tourist in the kingdom of Bhutan. Days are normally hot and night cold.
Bhutan’s economy is predominantly agrarian. Bhutan 75% of the population depends on subsistence farming and livestock rearing. The food crops are rice, maize, millet, wheat, buckwheat and barley. The cash crops include apples, oranges, potatoes, cardamom and mustard. Hydro Power contributes about 25% of the government revenue.
They are Indo-Mongoloid origin and appear closely related to the inhabitants of northeast India and northern Burma. Bhutan Ngalongs are of Tibetan descendant migrated to Bhutan in the 9th century and settled west of the country. Bhutan third groups Lhotsampas are the Nepali origin that settled in the foothills of southern Bhutan in mid 19th century.
The men wear a knee-length garment called ‘Gho’ which resembles the Scottish Kilt. The women wear a long robe ‘Kira’, which is wrapped around the body covering it from neck to ankle. Women usually wear heavy silver and gold necklaces with coral, turquoise and other precious stones.
The national language about Bhutan is Dzongkha, which is widely spoken in western region. The eastern region of the country speak Sharchop, where as the people in the south speak Nepali. English has been used as the medium of instructions in schools and institutes.
Bhutan staple food is rice and vegetables with abundant chilies. Bhutanese eat incredible amount of chilies. Most Bhutanese prefer ‘Emadatse’ a dish made entirely of chilies mixed with cheese. Meat is widely eaten in Bhutan. Common meat includes pork, beef, chicken, fish and yak meat. In central Bhutan, buckwheat is cultivated as one of the main cereals. The Bumthang region is famous for its buckwheat pancakes.
The Bhutanese are fond of taking ‘suja’ (butter tea) and ‘ara’, an alcohol distilled from the brewery of locally produced rice, wheat, maize or corn.
Entertainment & Sports
Bhutan national sport is archery. People play Khoru which is like dart.
It is one of the most exciting experiences that the visitor can have in Bhutan is Tsechu or festival in English. All districts in Bhutan witness Tsechu. Best Tsechu in Bhutan is Paro Tsechu, which falls in March or April.
Bhutanese followed arranged marriage in olden days. Today the love marriages are common. There is no child marriage in Bhutan.The wedding ceremony ends in dancing and feasting.There is no dowry in Bhutan. Bhutan people living in the south follow Hindu system of marriage.
Art & Architecture
Bhutan traditional Bhutanese architecture has no nails or iron bars. Dzong architecture is one of the most elegant and harmonious in the world. Thangkas and mandala depict an artistic skill and a rare exquisite fineness.
Flora & Fauna
72% of its area covered under forest. Bhutan’s 5000 species of plants grow in Bhutan. These include 300 species of medicinal plants, over 50 species of rhododendron and 600 species of orchids.
Bhutan ancient history is in mystery. Whatever documented evidence that has survived in some of its Dzongs confirms the establishment of a Dual System of Government. Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel who unified the country under the Drukpa School of Mahayana Buddhism. Bhutan is the only country in the world that practices the religion of Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism today. It was in the 8th century AD that Guru Padma Sambhava introduced Buddhism to the country. The festivals are a time for the people from various walks of life to come together with colourful dress. The most popular festivals are Paro Tsechu (March/April), Thimphu Tsechu (September/October) and in Bumthang (October).