About Bhutan

    The Kingdom of Bhutan lies in the eastern Himalayas, between Tibet to the north and the Indian territories of Assam and west Bengal to the south. The Kingdom has a total area of about 47, 0000 square kilometers. The country’s history stretches back to the origins of Buddhism and its spiritually rich people are innovative, practical and charmingly humorous. They live in harmony with nature and have evolved a unique identity’ resulting largely from a religious and cultural heritage. Bhutanese people today still wear their traditional outfit- Gho for males and Kira for females. The age-old code of etiquette formulated in the early 16th century still governs the way of life in Bhutan. Bhutan is popularly known as the only progressive Kingdom in the world that firmly preserves its unique rich culture, tradition, environment, and spiritual values in spite of the daunting developmental acts around the world.
    More than 90 percent of the people live on subsistence farming, scattered in sparsely populated villages across the rugged terrain of the Himalayas. With rice as the staple diet in the lower regions, and wheat, buckwheat, and maize in the other valleys, the people farm narrow terraces cut into steps on hill slopes. The Bhutanese are by nature physically strong and fiercely independent with an open and ready sense of humor. Hospitality is an inbuilt social value in Bhutan. Bhutan has three main ethnic groups known as Sharchops, Ngalong and the Lhotsampas. Sharchops are the earliest residents of Bhutan who generally reside in the eastern region.
    The national sport of Bhutan is archery. Energetic competitions, usually accompanied by a banquet, are a part of all festive occasions. The archery targets are wooden slabs of about 30 centimeters in width and are aimed at from a range of 120 meters. Contests take place throughout the year. Other traditional sports include Dergo, in which around flat stone is thrown at a target, khuru (dart), keshey (wrestling), Pung – do (shortput). In soksum, a spear held at either end, is thrown at a target, whereas in sherey, parey, a contest of the strength, one man grasps the wrist of his opponent, who must free himself in order to win. Today, most international sports such as soccer, basketball,

    Volleyball, tennis, table tennis, badminton and golf are also gaining currency in Bhutan. The Bhutan Olympic committee proudly represents the Kingdom at Olympic meetings.

    Monsoon influences promote dense forestation in the region and alpine growth at higher altitudes. The cultivated central uplands and Himalayan foothills support the majority of the population. In the south, the Duars plain drops sharply away from the Himalayas into large tracts of semi- tropical forest savannah grassland and bamboo jungle.

    Time Zone:
    Bhutan has only one time zone, Bhutan Standard Time (BST). It is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 30 minutes ahead of India.

    National Symbols: