Bhutan is a small Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. Famously known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” or Druk-Yul, Bhutan is known for the Buddhist simplicity of way of life. A small land locked kingdom of 47,182 sq. km in area lies in the eastern Himalayas east of Nepal and north of India. Divided into three geographical regions – Duars Plain in the south, Inner Himalayas in the middle and the Great Himalayas in the north – majority of population settle down in the middle region of the country.
Religiously, about the three-fourth of Bhutanese people follows Buddhism while the rest follow Hinduism, Shamanism and mixture of Hinduism and Buddhism. They speak Dzongkha as their official language while Nepali, Aasami and Gurung language are widely spoken in Bhutan.
Bhutan is now a parliamentary democratic kingdom ruled by the Wangchuck dynasty. But to reach here in today’s status; Bhutan has gone through lots of different systems over the period of time.
Bhutan’s culture is based on Tibetan Buddhism. Political, social, economic and religious life is ruled by the dzongs and monasteries. Bhutanese people celebrate various festivals where they organize archery competition. Archery is a famous skill that Bhutanese people have.
Bhutanese people marry mostly within their ethnic communities and after they marry, the bride doesn’t necessarily have to move to the groom’s parents’ house. Instead, the groom stays at the bride’s parents’ home or they settle on their own way later. Polygyny is commonly practiced but one cannot marry more than three wives. Divorce can take place if the person wanting divorce compensates the other.
As a country with diverse geographical terrains, climate in Bhutan is diverse too. Bhutan experiences the sub-tropical climate in the southern part, temperate climate in the middle inner Himalayas and alpine climate in the northern Himalayan region. As Bhutan lies in the high altitude region, climate there does not exceed to the point to be called extremely hot.
Bhutan has dry winter months (Dec. – Feb.) and dry spring months (early March – mid April). Summer months (Mid April – late June) receive occasional rainfall whereas the heavy monsoon starts late June and stays until late September. Autumn season (Late September – late November) has generally bright sunny days. Temperature varies from below freezing point to high twenties depending upon different seasons and different places.
There are two ways to get into Bhutan – by air and overland.
You can fly to Paro from Kathmandu, New Delhi, Singapore and Bangkok. The national flag carrier, Druk Air, and Bhutan airlines are the two airlines that you can use to fly into Bhutan. You need a return ticket to travel to Bhutan. Bhutan flights are sometimes delayed and sometimes take off before scheduled time, thus it is recommended that you check in on time. It is also recommended to keep 24 hours transit time for your connecting flight to minimize the risk given the delays of flights due to weather conditions.
Overland entry to Bhutan is possible via India Bhutan border. The border towns of Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jonkhar and Gelephu allow access to Bhutan after having necessary documents for Indian border clearance. Make sure you have all necessary documents for border clearance by contacting embassy. Those borders have certain working hours in a day so you need to make sure that you cross the border within the working hours.
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