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Bhutan

Bhutan is a tiny kingdom, the size of Switzerland, sequestered in the lap of the eastern Himalayas. It remained in self imposed isolation for centuries before opening its borders just four decades ago. In this short span of time, this nation has managed to usher in modernization while still preserving its ancient tradition and culture.

Bhutan is a tiny kingdom, the size of Switzerland, sequestered in the lap of the eastern Himalayas. It remained in self imposed isolation for centuries before opening its borders just four decades ago. In this short span of time, this nation has managed to usher in modernization while still preserving its ancient tradition and culture. Today, Bhutan is one of the most exclusive travel destinations with the number of tourists increasing by the year.

The history of Bhutan dates back well into the sixth century although there is little written documentation as fire, floods and other disasters destroyed important repositories. Ancient temples and other edifices validate what has been passed down orally. Until the 17th century, Bhutanese history is replete with visits of important saints and the propagation of Buddhism. In 1616, a revered saint, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, arrived from Tibet and unified the nation under the Drukpa Kagyud sect of Buddhism.

The monarchy was established in 1907 and presently the fourth of the Wangchuck lineage, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, is steering his nation towards democracy. He is a benevolent ruler who has brought an era of unprecedented development and introduced policies that has brought Bhutan into the international limelight.

Bhutan has one of the richest eco-systems in the world, ranging from the alpine to the sub-tropical with the highest species density. The rich flora and fauna has resulted in the nation being listed as one of 10 global hot spots for environmental conservation. The environment is still intact with more than 78 percent of the total land cover under lush forests.

The culture and tradition of the nation has been preserved as zealously. Religion influences every aspect of the Bhutanese life and the people continue traditions that existed centuries ago. While deeply religious, the people are fun loving and easy going. They are hospitable by nature and love to entertain friends and guests.