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
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.