Description of Bhutan
Bhutan is officially called the Kingdom of Bhutan. It is a South Asian country in the Himalayas, and it’s completely landlocked. It is bounded by China and India. It is near Bangladesh and Nepal. The biggest city and capital is Thimphu.
Bhutan was once just a patchwork of small fiefdoms until the early 1600s, when the lama, running from persecution in Tibet, united the area and cultivated a unique identity for Bhutan. Later on, in the early 1900s, Bhutan interacted with the British Empire and kept up its strong relations with India when it became independent. Bhutan was ranked as the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest country overall.
Bhuthan has a varied landscape that ranges from the sub-alpine to the subtropical plains. Some of the Himalayan peaks exceed 23,000 feet. It has an area of roughly 15,000 square miles. The state religion of Bhutan is Vajrayana Buddhism. The population is roughly 750,000. The second-biggest religion is Hinduism.
In 2008, Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, and it had its first election. Bhutan is a member of the United Nations.
Tourism In Bhutan
Tourism in Bhutan started in 1974, when the government tried to raise money and promote the distinctive culture and traditions of Bhutan to the rest of the world. Before that, it was a very isolated country. Just under 300 tourists visited Bhutan that first year. Several thousand people visit Bhutan each year. Tourism contributes more than $2 million each year.
Bhutan is open to the outside world, but the government is very aware of the environmental toll that tourists could have on unspoiled culture and landscape of Bhutan. The tourist activity has been limited from the very beginning, which explains why there are so few tourists each year - despite how beautiful and unspoiled the country is. The government of Bhutan prefers high-quality tourism over just quantity. There are almost 75 tourist companies in the country today.
The biggest sites for tourism in the country include Thimphu, which is Bhutan’s capital. The city of Paro, close to India, is also popular. There is a monastery on a cliff called Taktshang, which translates to the “Tiger’s Nest” in English. It is also very popular, and it is an especially sacred site for Buddhists. Inside the temple is a cave, and that is where the Buddhist Diety that brought Buddhism to the country fasted for three months as he fought the demons in the valley, so that Buddhism could spread. The monks here are very devout. The temple has been in existence for more than 1,000 years, and it has withstood two fires. The only airline that operated in Bhutan for a long time was Druk Air, but the country is now serviced by Buddha Air, too.
In order to get a visa to travel to Bhutan, you need to visit the consulate or embassy in your country.
National Parks In Bhutan
Bhutan has an extensive national park system, and the government is acutely aware of the danger of spoiling their pristine territory. Not only do they restrict tourism, but they have safeguards in place to ensure that important natural areas are protected. The national park system goes a long way toward helping ensure that.
The system of protected areas of Bhutan was set up in the 1960’s, and at that time it covered nearly the whole northern and southern regions of Bhutan. The parks system was heavily revised in 1993 to ensure better management and representation of the unique ecology of Bhutan. There are ten areas today that are formally protected, and they cover more than 16,000 square kilometers, which is more than 25% of the country.
The Bhutan Trust Fund has spent more than $6 million in the last 22 years to continue to improve the national park system, and closely linked government agencies. The government has recruited nearly 200 staff, and it has offered extensive training and teaching.
Museums In Bhutan
Bhutan is the site of several museums that feature the cultural traditions, art, and history of the people of Bhutan. The museums capture more than 1,500 years of history. There is a lot of information on the herbal and traditional forms of medicine in some of the museums.
The museums in Bhutan are state-run for the most part, and they are funded from the same source. Most of the museums are in Trongsa, Paro, and Thimphu.
National Museum Of Bhutan
The National Museum Of Bhutan is a cultural museum, and it is located in one of the most popular tourist cities, Paro. Paro is situated in Western Bhutan. The museum was opened in 1968. Some new infrastructure was added to house some of the best Bhutanese art, including paintings and bronze statues. There were new galleries added to house the big collections. The works of art were elegantly displayed based on precise scientific measurements.
The National Museum of Bhutan now has more than 3,000 pieces of Bhutanese art, and it covers more than 1,500 years of the history of Bhutan, as well as its culture. The holdings of the museum represent the best of old and new from Bhutan.
Bhutan Textile Museum
This museum features the crowns, dresses, and other accessories worn by members of the kings of the Wangchuck dynasty, as well as other members of the royal family and ruling party. This museum offers a real window into the culture and couture of the royal family and of what Bhutanese people appreciate aesthetically and fashion-wise. The museum is located in Thimphu.
Folk Heritage Museum
The Folk Heritage Museum is also in Thimphu, and it offers an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the Bhutanese village people and their homes, items and artifacts that they use on a daily basis. The museum has regular exhibits featuring demonstrations on rural skills, habits, and traditions. If you want to learn what life is like for ordinary Bhutanese villagers, this is the place to go. Check out the Bhutan Textile Museum to compare it to how the royal family dresses and lives. Of course, you can always meet villagers yourself instead of just visiting a museum. Why not do all three? You can eat in quaint eateries and buy handmade goods from local artisans. It is a great way to get to know the people, instead of just visiting a museum.
Institute Of Traditional Medicine Museum
The instate catalogs, researches, and dispenses traditional and herbal medicine from several areas of the Bhutanese Himalayan region, especially Lunana, Laya, and Lingzhi. The museum features herbs, minerals, and animal parts that have healing properties.
Ta Dzong Museum
This museum covers the last 100 years of the country’s history, and it showcases much of the monarchy’s history. This place served as a watch tower for a number of centuries, and it is a gorgeous, huge five-story building. The museum features 11 different galleries.
Zoos In Bhutan
Motihang Takin Preserve
The Motihang Takin Preserve is situated in the Motihang district of Thimphu, and it is a wildlife reserve especially for takin, which is the national animal of the country. It was once a mini-zoo, but it was turned into a major nature preserve when it was learned that the takin didn’t choose to inhabit the surrounding forest area even when they were allowed to do so. The impetus for having the takin as the National Animal was because of a legend of how the animal was created by Lama Drupka Kunley in the 15th century.
Some facts about Bhutan
Gallery of Bhutan
Bhutan video guide
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Top cities of Bhutan
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