General Information On Bhutan
The country's population of 600, 000 is
composed of three main ethnic groups. The Sharchopas, who are considered to be the
earliest inhabitants of Bhutan, live mostly
in Eastern Bhutan and they are of
Indo-Mongoloid origin. The Ngalops populate
mostly Western Bhutan migrated from the
Tibetan plains and are the importers of
Buddhism to Bhutan. The Lhotsampas who are
of Nepalese origin settled in the southern
foothills of the country in the early
twentieth century. This ethnic diversity of
the people has resulted in numerous dialects
and languages that are spoken throughout the
country. Dzongkha is the National
language. English is the medium of
instruction in schools and is widely spoken.
Bhutan is the last bastion of the
Mahayana form of Buddhism in the world
today. It was in the 8th century AD that
Guru Padma Sambhava introduced Buddhism to
the country. Subsequently this was
promulgated by various other religious
figures who visited Bhutan. The dominant
sect that came to be established in the
country was the Drukpa Kargyu sect of
Mahayana Buddhism, which is now the official
religion of Bhutan.
The Bhutanese are very pious people and
religion plays an important part of their daily lives.
Prayer flags fluttering in the wind, chortens (stupas),
monasteries and twirling prayer wheels are a
very common sight. Religion permeates all
strands of secular life and this has brought
about a reverence for the land and its
well-being. Religious festivals known as 'Tsechus'
and 'Dromchoes' symbolizing amity, peace and
compassion, are held annually at various parts
of the kingdom at different times of the year.
These colorful festivals are a time for the
people from various walks of life to congregate
dressed in all their finery. The most popular
festivals are Paro Tsechu (March/April), Thimphu
Tsechu (September/October) and in Bumthang
(October). During the festival, rare and sacred
masked dances, sword dances and many rituals are
Winter (December, January , and February )will
be cold with temperatures dropping below zero.
The day time would be pleasant with clear blue
skies. Spring (March , April,May )would be the
best time of the year with pleasant weather and
plenty of greenery. Summer(June, July ,August)
would be pleasant but wet due to the monsoon
Autumn (September, October,& November)Is
similar to spring but a bit warmer. In the
valley November to march at day time is 16-18
degrees centigrade & the night time below
freezing point. Mid March to beginning of June
degrees & July to November 16-24 degrees
centigrade during the day time and cold during
Flora & Fauna
Bhutan has a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Blessed with unparalleled scenic beauty of
majestic snow capped peaks, lush valleys and
large tracts of virgin forest, Bhutan is home to
numerous rare and endangered species of wildlife
such as the blue sheep, musk deer, red panda,
snow leopard, black bear, golden langur and the
unique Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The
endangered Black Necked Cranes also migrate to
Bhutan from Central Asia during the winter.
The country has been identified as one of
the 10 bio-diversity hot spots in the world and
as one of the 221 global endemic bird areas. Its
eco-system has some of the most exotic species
of the Eastern Himalayas with an estimated 770
species of birds and over 50 species of
rhododendron, along with an amazing variety of
medicinal plants and orchids
Point Of Reference
Bhutan can be entered by air & land. However the
land route can take for either entering and
exiting only. It is necessary that Druk air the
National & only carier of Bhutan , he used at
least once . the fares for the sectors that druk
Bhutan can be entered by land through
Phuntsolling . the boarder town with west Bengal
The local currency is the NEGULTRAM (NU)which is
at par with the Indian rupees.
The Bhutaneese visa fee us$20 & tourism tax $10
per person (subject to change) payable in cash
at the point of entry .
Airport tax is Nu 300 per person .
Insurance on trip cancellation , medial ,
baggage etc is not available in Bhutan &
visitors should arrange for their own in their
home country .
The infrastructure in Bhutan can handle only
limited numbers of tourist at a time & hence
bookings should be done as early as possible to
avail of the best facilities.
Bhutan's time is 6 hrs ahead of GMT.
Bhutan enjoys all four seasons but the
tempearature varies from place within a short
distance of each other due to the great
difference in the altitude.