Bhutan Information

About Bhutan
 Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas between China and India, the small Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan opened itself to the outside world only in 1960s. Hithertho, it had been largely mysterious even to its neighbours but abandoning its self-imposed policy of isolation had it grappling to find a precarious balance between modernization and the preservation of its culture and traditions.However, it does seem that Bhutan has found the perfect balance between the two and now though it is making tremendous developments in all sectors, it also manages to hold onto its unique identity that makes it unlike any other country in the world with a population of just over 0.7 million.

Geography of Bhutan
Bhutan is a landlocked country. It is located between Tibet in the north, Indian states of West Bengal and Assam in the south, and Arunachal Pradesh in the east. It stretches across most climate zones; From the tropical jungles in the south, to the moderate heights of 2,000 to 25, 00 metres in the centre up the alpine range and the towering Himalayan mountains and glaciers of the north.

Bhutan is a land of soaring snowcapped peaks, alpine meadows and densely forested hills and ravines abounding in exotic flora and fauna. From May to August, hills are covered with an awesome variety of flowers decorated with waterfalls and streams gushing in wild abandon.

History of Bhutan
Bhutan's early history is steeped in Buddhist tradition and mythology. Bhutan's medieval and modern history was a time of warlords, feuds, giant fortresses and castles. The visit of Padama Sambhava in 747 AD is the important landmark in the history of the country. The kingdom's recent history begins with a hereditary monarchy that was founded in the 20th century and continued the country's policy of isolationism. It was under the leadership of the third king that Bhutan emerged from its medieval past of serfdom and reclusion. Despite the speed of modernization, Bhutan has maintained a policy of careful, controlled policy of development in order to preserve its national identity. Though known as Bhutan to the outside world, to the Bhutanese, the country is known as Druk Yul, 'land of the thunder dragon'. The people are known as the Drukpas.

Religion/Culture of Bhutan
The State religion is Drukpa Kagyupa a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. It has been institutionalised in the Dratshang (Central Monk body), headed by the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) who is chosen from among the most learned lamas and enjoys an equal rank with the King. Bhutan is the only country in the world to have adopted Mahayana Buddhism in its Tantric form as its official religion. The rich culture heritage of Bhutan has remained remarkably unblemished. It is to a great degree not remnants of the past but a living culture, where age-old traditions are vibrant and still continue to have clear significance in every day life of the Bhutanese people.