Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalaya’s eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
Punakha is a town in the Himalayas of Bhutan. It’s known for the Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress at the juncture of the Pho and Mo Chhu rivers. The fortress hosts the Punakha Tshechu, a religious festival featuring masked dances and music. In the surrounding Punakha Valley, temples include the fertility-focused Chimi Lhakhang and the hilltop Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which has river and mountain views.
Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, occupies a valley in the country’s western interior. In addition to being the government seat, the city is known for its Buddhist sites. The massive Tashichho Dzong is a fortified monastery and government palace with gold-leaf roofs. The Memorial Chorten, a whitewashed structure with a gold spire, is a revered Buddhist shrine dedicated to Bhutan’s third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Paro is a valley town in Bhutan, west of the capital, Thimphu. It is the site of the country’s only international airport and is also known for the many sacred sites in the area. North of town, the Taktsang Palphug (Tiger’s Nest) monastery clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. Northwest of here are the remains of a defensive fortress, Drukgyel Dzong, dating from the 17th century.
Here are some interesting facts that will amaze you!
1. Its a Kingdom – constitutional monarchy, yet a democracy as well. Bhutan held its first democratic elections in the year 2008.
2. The UN recognized Bhutan as a country in 1974.
3. Buddhism is the official religion with Hinduism the second popular faith.
4. Dzongka is the official language of the country.
5. This was a restricted country when it came to tourism and the first tourists were allowed in Bhutan in 1974.
6. Bhutan has the world’s highest unclimbed peak, Gangkhar Puensum, a mountain so sacred by the Bhutanese that the government has banned mountaineering on any peak above 19,685 feet.
7. Since 1999 usage of Plastic Bags is completely banned in the country.
8. All citizens officially become one year older on New Year’s Day. This way, no one forgets anyone’s birthday!
9. Its the world’s only Carbon Sink – absorbing more CO2 than it gives out.
10. Bhutan is one of the last countries in the world to introduce television to its people. The government lifted a ban on TV—and on the Internet—only 11 years ago.
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