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Bhutan General Information  


Bhutan has four distinct seasons. The southern plains close to Indian borders are warmer and more tropical than higher central valleys. The winter months are fiercely cold subsiding around the end of February. Rhododendrons begin to bloom first in warmer east and by the height of Spring, the whole kingdom is lush with spectacular flaming white, pink and red of the Rhododendron blossom. The annual monsoon affects south & central regions.

The name Bhutan is said to be derived from the ancient Indian term Bhotana, which means the end of the land of the Bhots (the Sanskrit name of Tibetans). It could have also been extended from the Sanskrit word “Bhu’uttan” or high land. Ancient Tibetan writers called their fertile neighbour Lho Mon or Lho Yul, paradise of the South or the Land of the Monpas. The Bhutanese refer to their country as Druk Yul or land of the Peaceful dragon. Druk meaning dragon and extending from the predominant Drukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Bhutan was not unified under a central authority until the 17th Century. However, religious presence in the country acted as a spiritual cohesion for many years. Guru Padmasambhava made his legendary trip from Tibet across the mountains flying on a tigress’ back arriving at Taktsang Monastery, Tiger’s Nest in the Paro valley. Guru Padmasambhava is recognized as the father of the Nyingmapa religious school. Many of Bhutan’s celebrated ancestors descend from the Nyingmapa School. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan Lama of the Drukpa school designed the present systems of the intertwined religious and secular government. He fought and won battles against the Tibetans in 1639 and so unified the country and established himself as the country’s supreme leader. Within five years of his death the whole country had come under the control of the central government. At the end of 19th century, the Penlop of Tongsa overcame the Penlop of Paro and was afterwards recognized as the overall leader of Bhutan. Ugyen Wangchuck was elected the first King of Bhutan in 1907 AD.

People & Religion
Bhutan’s indigenous population is the Drukpa. The three main ethnic groups, the Sharchops, the Ngalops & the Lhotshampas (of Nepalese origin) make up today’s Drukpa. The national language is Dzongkha. The Buddhist faith has played & continues to play a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical & sociological development of Bhutan and its people. It permeates all strands of secular life. Bringing with it a reverence for the land & its well being. Annual Tsechus & Dromchoes are spiritual occasions in each district. Throughout Bhutan, stupas & chortens line in the roadside commemorating a holy place. Prayer flags are found fluttering on long poles maintaining a constant communications with the heavens. Bhutan retains the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism as its official religion.

Bhutanese currency is the Ngultrum. US Dollars & traveller cheques are acceptable in large hotels & tourist shops. Indian currency is accepted everywhere.

All visitors to Bhutan require visas. For the Bhutan Visa procedure, we require the following information at least 30 days prior to the clients’ arrival in Bhutan:

1) Name as in Passport. 2) Passport Number. 3) Nationality 4) Date of issue & expiry of the passport. 5) Date of Birth. 6) Occupation.

Visa will be issued upon arrival in Kathmandu, Paro or Delhi airport. Individual tourist visas for a period of two week costs US$ 20 and an extension can be obtained at an additional US$ 20. Besides the visa fee, Tourism Services fee of US$ 10 along with 3 photographs will also be required.

P O Box. 7823, Thamel, KTM, Nepal,
Tel: ++977 1 4257275, 2130976, Fax: ++977 1 4212149,
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