Welcome to Bhutan - The Dragon Kingdom.

 

Bhutan    Druk Yul


Population ; 7,00,000 (1996)

Capital ; Thimpu

Location ; Bhutan lies between 890 and 920 E and 270 and 280 N. 30 Minutes ahead of Indian standard time. 6 hours a head of GMT.

Language; Dzongkha

People ; There are 2 main population groups in Bhutan the Drukpa (67% ) of Tibetan and Monpa origin and Lhotsampa (30% Nepalese origin) The rest 3% others.

The Kingdom of Bhutan  is a landlocked nation in the Himalaya Mountains, sandwiched between India and China in South Asia. The Bhutanese call their country Druk Yul (land of the thunder dragon). Historically Bhutan was known by many names, such as Lho Mon (southern land of darkness), Lho Tsendenjong (southern land of the Tsenden cypress), and Lhomen Khazhi (southern land of four approaches). The origins of the name Bhutan are unclear; historians have suggested that it may have originated in variations of the Sanskrit words Bhota-ant (the end of Bhot another word for Tibet), or Bhu-uttan (highlands). The word Bhutan as a name for the country dates from the late 19th century.

Bhutan is one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world. Nonetheless, survery data from the country suggest it is also one of the happiest (see the section on the Economy). Foreign influences and tourism are heavily regulated by the government to preserve the country's traditional culture and national identity. The landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding seven thousand metres. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion and the population is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the second most dominant. Thimphu is the capital and largest city.
 

The northern region consists of an arc of glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations. Most peaks in the north are over 23,000 feet (7,000 m) above sea level; the highest point is claimed to be the Kula Kangri, at 24,780 feet (7,553 m), but detailed topographic studies claim Kula Kangri is wholly in Tibet and modern Chinese measurements claim that Gangkhar Puensum, which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, is higher at 24,835 feet (7,570 m). Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds.

The Black Mountains in central Bhutan form a watershed between two major river systems: the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. Peaks in the Black Mountains range between 4,900 feet and 8,900 feet (1,500 m and 2,700 m) above sea level, and fast-flowing rivers have carved out deep gorges in the lower mountain areas. Woodlands of the central region provide most of Bhutan's forest production. The Torsa, Raidak, Sankosh, and Manas are the main rivers of Bhutan, flowing through this region. Most of the population lives in the central highlands.


Jacaranda trees in Bhutan
Terraced farming in the Punakha valley.In the south, the Shiwalik Hills are covered with dense, deciduous forests, alluvial lowland river valleys, and mountains up to around 4,900 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. The foothills descend into the subtropical Duars plain. Most of the Duars is located in India, although a 69 mile (1015 km) wide strip extends into Bhutan. The Bhutan Duars is divided into two parts: the northern and the southern Duars. The northern Duars, which abuts the Himalayan foothills, has rugged, sloping terrain and dry, porous soil with dense vegetation and abundant wildlife. The southern Duars has moderately fertile soil, heavy savannah grass, dense, mixed jungle, and freshwater springs. Mountain rivers, fed by either the melting snow or the monsoon rains, empty into the Brahmaputra river in India. Data released by the Ministry of agriculture showed that the country had a forest cover of 64% as of October 2005.

The climate in Bhutan varies with altitude, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow, in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.

Photo Gallery Bhutan
 

 

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