between China (in the north)
and India (in the south)
is the official language, and English is widely understood in
the travel and hospitality industry
which is at par with the Indian Rupee
for subtropical to arctic ~ varies according to altitude
mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna.
its early history is vague, Bhutan seems to have existed as a
political entity for many centuries. At the beginning of the 16th
cent. it was ruled by a dual monarchy consisting of a Dharma Raja,
or spiritual ruler, and a Deb Raja, or temporal ruler. For much
of its early history the Deb Raja held little real power, as the
provincial governors (ponlops) became quite strong. In 1720 the
Chinese invaded Tibet and established suzerainty over Bhutan.
Friction between Bhutan and Indian Bengal culminated in a Bhutanese
invasion of Cooch Behar in 1772, followed by a British incursion
into Bhutan, but the Tibetan lama’s intercession with the
governor-general of British India improved relations.
Bhutanese people, who call themselves Drukpas (dragon people),
are ethnically related to the Tibetans and practice a form of
Buddhism closely related to the Lamaism of Tibet; many Bhutanese
live in monasteries. Dzongka, the official language, is also basically
Tibetan. In southern Bhutan there is a sizable minority of Nepalese
(about a third of the population), who practice Hinduism and speak
various Nepalese dialects. Large numbers of ethnic Nepalese have
been expelled to Nepal since the late 1980s, and the government
has pressured the Nepalese to adopt Bhutanese dress, customs,
religion, and language. In addition, some 15% of Bhutan’s
people are from indigenous or migrant tribal groups.
Nature & Wildlife
is another Himalayan kingdom with a diverse and rich biodiversity
because of the variety of climatic conditions created by variations
of altitude. Some of the rare fauna include the takin, snow leopard
and the blue sheep up in the high mountains, and tigers and elephants
in the lowlands. Bhutan has more than 50 species of rhododendron,
and 770 species of birds.