In the midst valley of Eastern Himalaya lies the most peaceful and heavenly country Bhutan, where China is in the North and India in East, West and South. Bhutan is rich in unique esthetic beauty of nature, arts, craft and cultural heritage. The architectural design of building is so unique and traditional that everyone feels like to stay here forever. Its diverse eco-system supports huge varieties of rare species of plants such as blue poppy and orchid, animals like takin, yak, snow leopards, and red panda, and birds like black-necked crane, raven, wood pecker and many more which can be seen only in Bhutan.
The people of Bhutan believe in Vajrayana form of Buddhism where we follow Drukpa Kagyud School of teachings. The sacred monasteries which stands on the cliff , fluttering of the prayer flags and turning of the prayer wheels brings peace and harmony to the country with greater sense of belongingness. These are the features which makes Bhutan one of the world’s top travel destinations.
The projected population in Bhutan as per NSB report in 2016 is said to be about 7,68,577 numbers. Bhutan, the country of happiness has 20 dzongkhags which can be divided into five different regions, Eastern, Western, Central, Northern and Southern Bhutan. The People in this region speak different dialects however Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. The people in Bhutan are Buddhist by religion and Dzongkha is spoken as one language by Bhutanese. Agriculture is the primary source of income for the Bhutanese people where 70% of the people lead their livelihood by practicing subsistence farming. Approximately 2.6 % of the land is reserved as arable land for farming practices. Although the live of the Bhutanese people are so simple, they always have welcome smiles to the visitors.
The sovereignty of the Kingdom is strongly rooted by the culture of Bhutan. The Culture of Bhutan upholds the identity of people as Bhutanese. Different region of the country has different dialects however. Dzongkha is the national language to bridge the sense of belongingness as one nation and one people. The cultural identity of the gender can be distinguished with traditionally woven colorful dress for both the genders, gho for men and kira for women.
Bhutan is a country with the valleys being separated with the mountains and a river and we often believe that they are the spiritual guardians of the country since during ancient times it has been protecting the people from the external threats. The architectural of the building and Dzongs are being crafted with colorful pictures. It is so attractive and unique that there is no other architectural design as such in other parts of the world. The ancient architects were so creative that they even started building dzongs and monasteries in the cliff which often exists today as a sacred site of Bhutan. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan came to Bhutan in 1616 and he united the country as one with spiritual and temporal law which exists today. Turning of prayer wheel and chanting a mantra “Om Ma nay Padma Hu” is spiritually believed to cure all the sin and bad deeds of the people. Bhutan follows a Drukpa Kagyudpa system of Buddhism protected by Pelden Lhamo (Mahakali).
Bhutanese economy is primarily based on agricultural and forestry product and hydro project is tremendously playing a vital role is boosting economy of the country. However, there is a steady growth in cottage and small scale industries creating approximately more than 50% of the employment to the people. The another major sector of Bhutan is a tourism sector which helps in generation of employment and revenue .However, private sector development is a major challenge in Bhutan.
GDP per capita of Bhutan is growing at an average annual rate of 7.7 % Bhutanese economy is a mirror image of Indian economy as Bhutanese currency (Ngultrum) is peg with Indian Rupees.
The climate in Bhutan varies with the altitude of places. Higher the altitude, colder is the place and vice versa. The climate in Bhutan can be divided into three different climatic zones, alpine, temperate and subtropical zones.
In eastern the climate is usually warmer during summer with cool winter.
In central Region the climate is mostly cool and temperate throughout the year. The region experiences cool dry winter.
In western region the temperature remains at an average of 15° C during day time in winter but during night the temperature drops below 15° C. During summer the climate remains warmer with humid monsoon rains.
In Northern region of the country usually the summer is cool with harsh and cold winter filled with snow on the peak of the mountains.
In Southern region the climate is hot during summer where it reaches beyond 35° C sometimes. However with the rainfall it is humid and brings fair temperature of between 15° C and 30° C. Winter is favorably warm.
* The weather of Bhutan remains warm, dry and sunny during spring and autumn. Therefore it is the best time to visit Bhutan. However, it is also recommendable to visit Bhutan during December with some warm clothes. During winter the great view of snow peak can be seen from the Dochula. Bhutan experiences four seasons in a year:
- Spring – March, April and May
- Summer – June, July and August
- Autumn – September, October and November
- Winter – December, January and February.
Bhutan is described as one of the natural paradises of Himalaya with diverse species of biodiversity. About 72% of the land in Bhutan is covered by forest supporting thousands of wildlife species in an eco-system. The pristine environment of Bhutan is considered as the home for endangered species like golden langur, black necked crane and many other species. Bhutan has 10 National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries covering 60% of the land as protected area. Protecting of environment has been one of the top and important priorities in Bhutan.
Marriage in Bhutan is done in a unique and traditional way where the bride and a groom would be colorfully dressed in national dress of Bhutan, gho and kira. A simple rituals will be done by Lamas with some invitations of relatives and friends. After the completion of rituals couples will receive a “khaddar”commonly known as white scarf from the relatives and friends who will give blessings for the prosperity and well being of the couple.