Top Ten Bhutanese Attractions

Top Ten Bhutanese Attractions

       Bhutan is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered by the Republic of India and China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms until the early 17th century, when the area was unified by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who fled religious persecution in Tibet and cultivated a separate Bhutanese identity. In the early 20th century, Bhutan came into contact with the British Empire, after which Bhutan continued strong bilateral relations with India upon its independence. In 2006, Business Week magazine rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the 8th happiest in the world, based on a global survey. Bhutan’s landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7,000 m (23,000 ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the 2nd largest religion. The capital and largest city is Thimphu. In 2007,Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, holding its first general election. The total area of the country has been reported as 38,394 square km (14,824 sq mi) since 2002.

  1. Tiger’s Nest Monastery

    Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched precariously on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in Paro Valley, is one of the holiest places in Bhutan. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, flew onto the cliff on the back of a tigress, and then meditated in a cave which now exists within the monastery walls. The monastery, formally called Taktshang Goemba, was built in 1692 and reconstructed in 1998 after a fire. Now, the monastery is restricted to practicing Buddhists on religious retreats and is off-limits to ordinary tourists.
    Links: Monasteries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paro_Taktsang,
  2. Thimphu

    Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan, situated in the western central part of Bhutan. As of 2005 it had a population of 79,185, with 98,676 people living in the entire Thimphu district. The city is spread out longitudinally in a north-south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Wang Chuu, also known as the Thimphu Chuu River. Unusually for a capital city, Thimphu is not served by an airport, but relies on the airport at Paro, connected by road some 54 km (34 mi) away. Thimphu, as the political and economic center of Bhutan, has a dominant agricultural and livestock base, which contributes to 45% of the country’s GNP. Tourism, though a contributor to the economy, is strictly regulated, maintaining a balance between the traditional and development and modernization. Thimphu contains most of the important political buildings in Bhutan, including the National Assembly of the newly formed parliamentary democracy and Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King, located to the north of the city. As a metropolis and capital city, Thimphu is coordinated by the “Thimphu Structure Plan”, an Urban Development Plan which evolved in 1998 with the objective of protecting the fragile ecology of the valley. This development is ongoing with financial assistance from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of literature, religion, customs, and national dress code, the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and in the media. Tsechu festival is an important festival when mask dances, popularly known as Cham dances, are performed in the courtyards of the Tashichhoe Dzong in Thimphu. It is a four day festival held every year during Autumn, on dates corresponding to the Bhutanese calendar.
    Links: Monasteries, Top Ten Libraries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thimphu,
  3. Haa Valley

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Valleys,
  4. Changlimithang Stadium

           Changlimithang Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan, which serves as the National Stadium. It is currently used mostly for football and archery matches. The stadium holds 25,000. Changlimithang stadium was also the venue of Bhutan’s first open theatrical production, which was A Tale of Two Cities.
    Links: Top Ten Stadiums, Top Ten Asian Stadiums, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changlimithang_Stadium,
  5. Links: Top Ten Happiest Countries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhutan,