About Bhutan
Bhutan – The Land of Thunder Dragon has remained isolated from the rest of the world in its pristine state, unspoiled by outside influences. The kingdom opened its door to tourism only in 1974, since then the number of visitors to Bhutan has steadily increased. Bhutan is endowed with breathtaking natural beauty, surrounded by sacred mountains, virgin peaks and holy lakes. Its beautiful valleys and lush forests are teeming with wildlife and flora. Its approximately 38,600 Square kilometer of area is covered with not less than 72% of dense forest and jungles. In less than 65 miles, Bhutan rises 25,000 feet from the subtropical jungles of the south to arctic cold of the high Himalayas. More than 85% of the populations of about 672,425 people are farmers who live in small villages spread over rugged mountain. Since the 8th century Buddhist teachings and philosophy has played a vital role in shaping the country's culture and the way of life. In fact it is the only surviving Vajrayana Buddhist Kingdom in the world.

Bhutanese men wear gho, which are longish robes tied aroungd the waist by a cloth belt, known as Kera. Women wear kira, which are made of bright coloured fine woven fabrics of traditional patterns.

There are three main ethnic groups - the Ngalongs in the western and central regions are the descendants of Tibetan immigrants who arrived in Bhutan from the 9th century. The Sharchops, who live in the east of the country and the third group known as Lhotshampas who represent the Nepali speaking ethnic group. Bhutanese are friendly and hospitable people.

The national sport of Bhutan is archery and traditional sports also includes Khuru (darts), degor(a kind of shotput). Today most international sports, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis and table tennis are also played.

The castle-like dzongs, with their gently tapering walls, classic lines, large stone courtyards and beautiful painted galleries, are among the fine examples of Bhutanese architecture. But the most common architectural sight in Bhutan are the chortens or stupa which are small shrines built to house sacred relics.

Local TimeSix hours ahead of GMT and ½ hour ahead of Indian standard time.
This small Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan with splendid natural beauty, unspoiled environment, amazing landscape, the invigorating climate, the simple hospitality of its people, and its rich cultural heritage, is no more a dream land for discerning travellers who wish to see something different from the usual touristy spots in the world.
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