Bhutan, the hidden kingdom in the eastern Himalayas is also called as the “Shangri-La, because of its pristine environment and exotic cultural traditions. The dragon country known as Drukyul was never captured by any other country and it has remained and maintained its sovereignty over this past years, Bhutan is a land locked country, situated along the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalayan ranges in the latitudes of 26 degrees 30’ North and 28 degrees 10’ North, and longitudes of 88 degrees 45’ East to 92 degrees 25’ East. It is sandwiched by the Tibetan region of China in the north and North West, and the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam in South and South East.
Bhutan has area of 38,394 square kilometers surrounded entirely with unsurpassable mountains, with the population of 733004. The elevation of the land varies approximately from 196 meters (590.55 ft.) above sea level in the south to over 7,800 meters (24,770.34 ft.) cladded with snow peaks in the north. The higher mountain region remains unscaled by human, while the alpine meadows below belongs to the nomads herding yaks who bring up their herds to higher land for grazing amidst the rich grasslands and during harsh and cold winter they move down to lower pasture lands along with their family and animals.
The architecture in Bhutan again varies from place to place, in East and West most of the houses are substantial and built using wood, in Northern and central Bhutan its built using rock and stones collected from the river bed and in southern Bhutan they use the method wattle and daub, using main ingredients dung from the cow and clay plasters. And apart from this types of buildings, one can also see Chortens (stupas), stonewalls, monasteries, fortresses, which we call it Dzong.
Bhutan is abundant in flora and fauna, with the forests coverage of over 72 per cent, including 51.44% per cent categorized as protected areas and 8% categorized as arable agricultural lands. And at the same time trying to protect some of its endangered species of animals, birds and plants and also to sustain the environment for our future generations.
Bhutan’s development policy is called the “Gross National Happiness” (GNH), a concept coined by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck , the hereditary fourth King of Bhutan in the year 1969. GNH, rather than being used as a tool for economic development it’s more of holistic approach to development than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GNH is based on the Buddhist philosophy of the “Middle path,” trying to balance spiritual as well as materialistic needs. While modern and conventional policy of development stresses more on production and economic growth as the ultimate objective, where as the concept of Gross National Happiness is based on development of human society.
Area: 38,394 Square Kilometer.
Altitude: Varying from 590.55 ft to 24,770.34 ft. above sea level
Life expectancy at birth: 66.25 (2006)
Local time: Six hours ahead of GMT and 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time.
Currency: Ngultrum, the value of the currency is pegged with Indian Rupee
Language: Dzongkha, English is spoken throughout the country and mostly in schools
International Airport: Paro, 60 km from Thimphu
Religion: Buddhism (Mahayana and Vajrayana integrated) and in Sothern Bhutan Hindu is in prominent practice
Forest Coverage: – 72%. : including arable Agricultural land: 8% and 51.44% of total land.
National Game: Archery made out of bamboo.
National Animal: Takin – Budorcas Taxicolor, 180 kg Adult,life span 12 – 15 years.
National Flower: Blue Poppy, It grows above 4000 meter in the mountains for short period of time for three months during the monsoon season.
National Tree: Cypress, Himalyalca Cupressus or known as Bhutan Cypress.
National Bird: Raven, Corvus Corax,Life span 10-15 years.