Bhutan: Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan: Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan: Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan means “Land Of The Thunder Dragon “because of the violent storms that descend from the Himalayas. Bhutan is bordered on the North and Northwest by China and to the

East, South and Southwest by India. The capital of Bhutan is Thimpu which is also the largest city of the country. Thimpu was formerly the winter capital until 1962 when it was declared the permanent seat of the Government. Bhutan is almost entirely mountainous with a narrow strip along the southern border- the Duars, its only area of flat land. Until 1960s Bhutan lived an isolated life but after the introduction of first surfaced road, it gradually opened its doors to tourists in 1974. Majority of Bhutan's population is the Bhotia (or Bhote, derived from Bod, the ancient name of Tibet). The official language is Dzongkha, a Tibetan dialect, although English and Nepali are also widely spoken. The official religion is a Lamaist form of Mahayana Buddhism also referred to as Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism was brought to the area after the arrival of the Bhotia and by the mid 16th century there were many dzongs (fortified monasteries) in the Himalayan valleys.

Cultural hightlights of Bhutan

The staples of the Bhutanese diet are rice, buckwheat and corn. The language is Dzongkha, but several Tibetan or Nepalese dialects are used throughout the country. Dzongkha means, “The language spoken in fortresses.”  It has 30 consonants and four vowels.Most Bhutanese men wear the gho, which is a knee-length robe tied at the waist by a cloth belt called a kera. Women wear a kira, a bright, woven ankle-length dress with traditional patterns.  It is clipped at one shoulder and tied at the waist. The ladies also wear a long-sleeved blouse, a toego, under the kira.

Attractions of Bhutan

There are a good many things to see in the capital which has a very relaxed, laid-back feel about it. Thimphu is relatively small having a population of approximately 45,000 people and the streets are wide and tree lined. You will almost certainly visit the Late King's Mstrongorial Chorten, the National Library, Drubthob Nunnery, Folk Heritage Museum, the handmade paper factory, the school of arts and crafts where young students learn the traditional arts and crafts (Zo Rig Chusum – the thirteen crafts), Gold and the Silver Smiths workshop, Zangtopelri Lhakhang, and the Handicraft Emporium and the local handicraft centers to see the weavers at work and also varieties of textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, jewellery etc.

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