In ancient times it was known as 'the lotus garden of the gods'
It is much said that Bhutan is comparable to Switzerland in both size and topography, being largely mountainous. With these borders a giant staircase is formed - from a narrow strip of land in the south at an altitude of 10,000 ft where a lot of Bhutan’s natural beauty stands in isolation as many of its high peaks have still not been climbed; but nevertheless, this is the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon'…& a global hotspot…
Physically situated in the heart of the Himalaya, Bhutan is blessed with a rich tapestry of exceptional cultural heritage.
Bhutan is no usual country like anywhere else. This is a place where buying cigarettes is illegal, & the rice is pretty red. The chillies hereabouts aren’t just a seasoning but the entire dish is made of chillies. It’s also a country deeply seeped in Buddhism, where men wear the national tunic to work, & where giant protective penises are painted on the walls of most houses; in Bhutan the Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than the Gross National Product. Tourism in Bhutan is different from anywhere else. Visitors famously have to pay a minimum of US$200 per day, making it one of the world’s most expensive countries to visit, but this fee is all-inclusive, you don’t have to travel in a group and you can design your itinerary your way. What you won’t find in Bhutan is backpacker-style independent travel. This is Nepal for the jet setters who are willing to spend at the drop of a hat…the Bhutanese way!
Mystical legends have bounded the Kingdom of Bhutan for centuries. Its precipitous mountainsides and remote forested valleys have many holy places with deep spiritual importance where the founders of Tibetan Buddhism left their ancient doctrines. Much of Bhutan is still covered in forest and, above the tree line; the mountains are not explored much and offer some of the best trekking in the Himalaya.
The Bhutanese have succeeded in maintaining their cultural and spiritual heritage and belief that they live in the last Shangri-La; by strictly limiting the number of tourists to the Kingdom to a maximum of 5000 a year.
Western values have little or no influence in this part of the world. Here in this land of culture and extreme charm this exudes a special feeling of serenity. The people are extremely religious, much in evidence hereabouts, even in pretty developed towns with modern amenities, the spinning of prayer wheels, the murmur of mantras and the glow of butter lamps are still regular features of daily life. Monasteries, temples and religious monuments are dotted across the landscape bearing witness to the importance of Buddhism, while red robed monks, young and old, are everywhere mingling freely in towns and village markets. The local folks enjoy their presence.
Bhutan boasts a wealth of Bio Diversity with almost three quarters of its land area covered by forests, it has been declared amongst the ten most prominent areas for environmental protection in the world. Its rich Himalayan flora and fauna, dazzling snow capped peaks, lush valleys and unbelievably beautiful rural landscapes will leave all but the very hardened asking: That if there is a heaven on Earth? The Land of the Thunder Dragon it probably is.
If you care to visit Bhutan, you will be among the select few who have experienced the appeal and magic of one of the world’s most mysterious countries – the ‘last Shangri La’ – and you’ll be enacting your role in this medieval kingdom’s efforts to join the contemporary world, while steadfastly maintaining its distinct and amazing cultural identity. Hence, why then you would want to spend a lot of your money to come here? It is perhaps because most of all, Bhutan gives you deep insights into another way of living, an optional revelation of what is truly important in life.
In this country known as the ‘Druk Yul’, or ‘Land of the Peaceful Dragon’, the fortunate visitor will find a rare combination of harmony and accord, amidst a landscape of amazing natural beauty.
SO ARE YOU READY TO GO???
ENTER the ‘Last Shangri-La’ with ‘Annapurna Travel & Tours’’… we’ll take you on whirlwind tour to some of the loveliest spots of Bhutan. We will show you things never seen before & walk with you into exclusive areas not known. We will make your holidays a practical venture that will increase your knowledge of the unknown; & where experiences you gain will live in your thoughts for years to come…
General information related to Bhutan
Location: Between China and India
Area: 46,620 sq km (18,182 sq mi)
Longitude: 27° 30’North and 90°30’ East.
Population: 2,139,549 (approx. 02 million)
Religion: 70% Buddhist, 25% Hindu, 5% others
National Animal: Takin (Burdorcas taxi color)
National Bird: Raven (Corvus corax)
National Flower: Blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis)
National Sport: Dha (archery)
Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan. Other widely spoken languages are Nepali, Bumthap, Sharchop and Hindi. English is understood and spoken by majority of people in major towns and is the medium of education in schools.
Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT, 30 minutes ahead of India, 1 hour behind Thailand and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal. There is only one time zone throughout the country. .
It is safer to drink bottled, boiled and filtered water. A reasonable variety of both hard and soft drinks are available in hotels, restaurants and shops in most towns. Many Bhutanese enjoy drinking traditional homemade alcoholic brews made from wheat, millet or rice.
The most popular tourist purchases are traditional Bhutanese arts and handicrafts. Produced by skilled artisans, these are generally of a high quality, and include Buddhist paintings and statues, textiles, jewelry and wooden bowls and carvings
The autumn is between (September-November). Winter is between (December-February), & summer is (March-May), the Monsoons fall between (Jun- August)
In major cities boiled and filtered water as well as mineral water is available in most of the hotels and restaurants. Elsewhere, it is advisable to use water sterilization tablets or stick to tea and soft drinks.
Government offices open from 09 am to 17:00 hrs in summer and till 16:00 hrs in winter.
The Government and most other offices work five days a week. Saturday and Sunday is the official weekly holiday when most of the shops are closed.
All towns in western Bhutan have a reliable power supply. Elsewhere, access is less consistent, and electricity is not available in many outlying areas of the country. The voltage supply is 220/240, the same as in Nepal and India.
Road transport is the dominant mode of transportation for passengers and freight within the country and to the neighboring states of India.
Other Transport Arrangements:
There are taxis with fare meters in Bhutan available for those who care to use it.