History: Bhutan is very rich in its mythology, as it has many tales to be told and the supernatural powers which took place here. Ancient scripts tells us about the evil spirits and it’s awful actions which took place. This was overcome by the Guru Rinpoche who visited Bhutan flying at the back of tigress and mediated at the cave for three years, three months, three days and three hours, place now referred as Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger Nest. Then started the spread of Buddhism, which eventually flourished all over the country. Bhutanese people believe in reincarnation hence, any path finder (Guru) departs from this world is believed to get a rebirth and later the concerned monks figure out the person or child is been taken and prepare him to be the upcoming Guru for the nation. Amazing facts about Bhutan is that television was introduced in the year 1999 and one will not find traffic lights on the streets.
Culture & Tradition: Bhutanese people are rich in their culture & tradition as they have maintained it intact even in this 21st century. Its government has implemented the rule in 1990 that the traditional dress should be worn by both men and women. There is no discrimination between men & women, they walk hand in hand for the betterment for the country. Their main aim in life is to stay and spread happiness among themselves, people are barely concerned about the riches and high standard of living. They are happy with what they have and want to continue the same life style.
Climate: Climate condition varies from place to place here and according to the altitude. The northern region is closer to the mountain range hence, it is cold. The mountains are covered with snow and the windblown from there highly affects the climatic condition. Snow fall occurs 2-3 times in winters.
The central part of Bhutan has sub-tropical climate, it is worm in summer and cool during winter. Southern part is close to India therefore summers are hot and winters are cool or pleasant.
Festival: Tsechu festival (Thimphu) is the most important festival in whole of Bhutan. Tsechu meaning ‘ten days’ takes place at Tashichho Dzong, the festival is visited by a large number of people from all over the country. This festival pays a tribute to Guru Rinpoche for spreading of Buddhism in the country, followed by cultural show and mask dance performed by the monks.
Punakha Tsechu is celebrated at Punakha paying the respect to the battle fought against the Tibetan army in 17th century, which the Bhutanese people had won.
Haa festival is recently celebrated festival to support its wilderness and to get re-acquainted with the Bhutanese sports, culture & cuisine.
Paro Tsechu : It is the most popular festival showcasing the religious dance in Bhutan. This festival helps witness Bhutan’s rich culture and tradition, and people from all over the world gather here to view this phenomenon.
Food: Bhutanese people love hot and spicy. Their main ingredient for food compromises of chilly and cheese. There is not even a single dish where these two ingredients are not used. There national dish named ‘Ema Datshi’ refers to as chilly (ema) and cheese (datshi). If you are heading for food at any place or restaurant, please specify how hot you would like your food to be. Red rice similar to the brown rice is the main course for diet along with meat (beef, pork, chicken) followed by some veg items.
Connectivity: If one is planning to travel to Bhutan hence, please be advised that there only two airlines which operates for Bhutan, they are Druk Air & Bhutan Air (Tashi Air). Also note the sectors from where these flight operates i.e. Delhi, Kolkata and Bagdogra (fly in & fly out).
One can also take an alternate optional of drive in & drive out i.e. from Phuentsholing (Indo-Bhutan border) & Gelephu (not much advisable). Guests can enter and exit Bhutan by road drive both from this places.
Trek: There are plenty of trekking options available in Bhutan, if one is planning for a trek the options are (i) Jhomolhari trek, (ii) Druk Path trek, (iii) Snowmen trek, (iv) Duer Hot Spring trek, (v) Bumthang Owl trek etc. All these treks will provide you once in a lifetime experience as you will witness a panoramic views of the mountain up close and fascinating valleys.
Info for tourists: Tourists are not allowed to enter into the monastery if they are wearing sleeveless clothes, half pants or slippers, therefore a decent cloth should be advisable for them. Also note, different sightseeing points have different entry fee rates which is based on direct payment basis.
Smoking and pan-masalas is not allowed in this country hence, if one is found doing so then he/she is liable to some charges for violating the rules.
Permit: Permit is must to be applied as the tourist is not allowed to visit Bhutan and its various places without it. The concerned offices are situated in Paro Airport, so when the guests arrive to Paro by flight their visa and permit formalities can be done at the same time. Accordingly when the guests are entering Bhutan by road then they can apply for their permit at Phuentsholing district of Bhutan which is in Indo Bhutan border. Please be advised the permit office is closed on Saturday, Sunday and Bhutan national holidays hence, try to avoid travelling on those days.
National sport:Bhutan’s national sports is called dha (archery). Dha is amale dominated sports however females also intend to play at times. You will find an archery field at all the villages, if you are not entertained by the sport hence, the crowd shall impress you with its colored victory dance.
National animal: The national animal of Bhutan is Takin, which is an half antelope and half goat,
which is found in the high mountain terrains. These Takin along with other animals were preserved in the national zoo for some time. However the concerned authority took a decision that preserving these animals was not much of help. Therefore they decided to release all the animals from the captivity. Later these takins so tamed, that they started loitering around the streets of Bhutan in search of food. This reason reinstated the decision of taking those animals in captive once again. To view these animal up close one has to present in the morning during their feeding time as they come close to the fence to reach their food.
Carbon sink nation: It is the only carbon sink country in the world and absorbs more CO2 then giving out. 72% of its land is forest and they have set up a law in their country’s constitution to keep 60% of its land remained to be forested. Bhutan supplies hydro-electricity power making it the only country to supply largest renewable energy. Keeping the stability of the eco-system is the primary motive of the Bhutanese and its wild life habitats too. If anyone is found out to be violating these rules then he/she will be sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.