Travel Guides: Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country in southern Asia, located on the foothills of the Himalayas.
It is bordered to the south, east and west by India and to the north by China. The principality founded by the Thepu population in the eighth century was occupied by Tibet in the ninth century that imposes the Lamaism (in the XII century, the state religion). In the eighteenth century, the principality of Bhutan recognizes Chinese suzerainty. For a century they defend their national independence threatened by British expansion. The first hereditary monarch of Bhutan is installed on 17 December 1907. In 1910, Britain formally recognized the independence of Bhutan, but assumes control of its foreign policy through the viceroy of India (until 1947). On 8 August 1949, by the treaty signed with India, the latter takes over Bhutan’s foreign representation and in 1961 its defense also.
The political system has developed gradually over the past 40 years; the first free elections took place on 24 March 2008. The Parliament has 25 members in the Senate and 47 in the House of Representatives. All political parties are members of the House of Representatives. Foreign policy is based on the agreement signed with India in 1949 (most recently revised in 2007). Bhutan has diplomatic relations with the northern neighbor, China. Bhutan is a UN member since 1971, and is a member of 150 international organizations. Bhutan is located on the southern slopes of the Himalaya Mountains, located between China and India. From north to south, the state has a length of only 200 km. Bhutan is located at a height high enough, the center of the country being in the Lower Himalayas, with altitudes ranging between 2000 and 5000 meters.
The highest point is the peak of Kula Kangra, with 7554 m altitude that decreases to the south of the country, where there are the Siwalik Mountains, on which tropical forests grow. The altitude continues to decline, this being in Duars hills and the Ganges-Brahmaputra plain. Bhutan has a tropical humid climate to an altitude of 1,500 meters, with monsoon rains, temperate mountains at altitudes above 1,500 meters and alpine at 3,000 meters. The average temperature reaches 10 ° C in January and 25 ° C in July. Though Bhutan’s economy is insignificant in the world, it had an 8% growth in 2005 and 14% in 2006. This development is primarily due to commissioning of Tala giant power plants. The economy is based on agriculture, forestry, tourism and sale of electricity to India.
Agricultural products are rice, chili, milk, barley, maize, buckwheat and others. Bhutan has no railroads, but under a 2005 agreement with India, a railway is planned in the south, which is connected to the network in India. Life expectancy is 66 years. There are three main ethnic groups: Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist (almost half the population) and the Nepalese Hindus. Languages spoken in the kingdom are Dzondkha (official), Tibetan and Nepalese dialects. Religions are Mahayana Buddhism (official) and Hinduism. By 1961 Bhutan did not allow foreign tourists to visit their home place, and now tourism is strictly controlled by authorities. Bhutan is the only country in the world where Mahayana Buddhism, Tibetan type, is the state religion, and authority that people make great efforts to comply with national traditions, such as wearing costumes.
Capital: Thimphu. President: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Form of government: Absolute monarchy – unicameral National Assembly that consists of 150 seats (105 are elected by voters in villages, 10 members are religious people and 35 are chosen by the monarch) for a period of three years. Mountains: There are three steps in the relief ordered by the north to south: Duars Himalayan Hills, Himalayan middle group of mountains with an altitude below 3,000 m, cross the fertile valleys of rivers with considerable energy potential and high Himalayan Mountains that exceed 7000 m and are fragmented by deep valleys. The highest peak: Kangra Kula 7553 m. Sea: It is landlocked. Climate: Climate varies from tropical in the plains in the south, chilly winters and hot summers in central valleys and harsh winters and cooler summers in the Himalayas. Area: 47.000 km². Neighborhood: China, India. Main Cities: Punakha, Paro, Tongsa, Tashingang. Administrative Divisions: 20 districts. Time Zone: GMT+5.
Country code (phone): 975. Radio emission: AM 0, FM 9, ultra-1 (2006). Modern Politics: The first hereditary monarch of Bhutan is installed on 12/17/1907. In 1910 Britain formally recognizes the independence of Bhutan, but retain control over foreign policy through the viceroy of India. After India’s independence (15/08/1947) the 1910 treaty was replaced on 08.08.1949, with a treaty of friendship, according to which India took over Bhutan’s foreign representation, and in 1965, the defense. At 9/21/1971 Bhutan became a member of the UN. Externally, Bhutan promotes a policy of nonalignment and good neighborhood. Independence: Obtained on 8 August, 1949 against India.
Organization: Bhutan is loved by tourists who will spend the holidays with people who kept the culture and traditions of dozens of centuries. The Government retains its policy of low quantity and high quality thus limiting the number of tourists from several thousand a year. What to see: Bumthang – the city considered the spiritual heart of Bhutan, Thimphu – the capital city, the only world capital without traffic lights, Dechenphu Lhakhang, Taktshang Goemba – the most famous monastery in Bhutan, Trongsa Dzong.
When to go: The best time to travel in Bhutan is from September to November, followed by the period March to May. Monsoon period, July-August, should be avoided because of heavy rains and very thick. Winter is the perfect season to visit the west side of Bhutan, considering that in December-February the roads from Thimphu to Bumthang and the east side could be closed due to heavy snow. Events: National Day – December 17. Estimated Population: 672,425 (2005). Population density: 45 persons / km². Population Distribution: Urban 9% / 91% Rural (2005). Population living below the limit: 31.7% (2003).11