Bhutan at a Glance
Area: 47, 000 sq. Km.
Continent: South Asia
Seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Language: Dzongkha & English
Population: (2006 approx.) 2,279,723
Religions: Buddhism & Hinduism
the hat is a lot higher than most people have been in their lives.
Where is Bhutan?
Located in Southern Asia, Bhutan has a 1,136.00 km border with China (477 km) and India (659 km). Bhutan and China are currently still involved in negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment.
The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu, located in Thimphu District near the Raidak River. The city became the capital following a royal declaration of 1961 and remains the only city in the country. Thimphu’s population is slightly more than 100,000 and a population density of slightly less than 7,8500 people per square mile. The city’s population density is highest in the country and continues to witness an increase in the number of people. This city relies majorly on the historical buildings for tourist attractions although the government is careful not to prioritize the sector to an extent that it overshadows the other economic development programs. Thimphu has a subtropical highland climate that is heavily influenced by monsoon winds. June to December constitute the wettest months while the other months are relatively dry.
Bhutan is an Asian country covering 38,394.00 km2. This makes it the 62nd smallest country in the world and slightly larger than Maryland; about one-half the size of Indiana. Its geographic coordinates are 27 30 N, 90 30 E and Thimphu is the capital city.
The country is named after Bhotia, the ethnic Tibetans who migrated from Tibet to Bhutan.
Bhutan has a mean elevation of 2,220 m above sea level. It has a climate that is mostly tropical in the southern plains, and less moderate in the central valley and Himilaya regions. Its terrain is mostly mountainous with some areas of the savanna.
Bhutan has a population of 750,125 making it the 164th largest in the world. Sharchhopka, Dzongkha, Lhotshamkha are all widely spoken. The major ethnicities are Ngalop, ethnic Nepalese and indigenous or migrant tribes. The population is mostly Lamaistic Buddhists.
Since 1971, the official and most spoken language of Bhutan has been Dzongkha. Dzongkha is a member of the Siro-Tibetan language group and uses the 30 letters of Tibetan alphabet. This language, in written form, is segmented with no vowels but some consonants assume an inherent vowel. Dzongkha is native to western Bhutan but spoken as a second language in the other regions. In total, more than 600,000 people speak the language. Some useful phrases for first-timers and non-speakers are like Kuzoozangpo La, Nga America ley in, and Atsi zur nang and others. Linguistically, Bhutan is diverse with many languages of Tibetan, East-Bodish, Tibeto-Burman, and Indo-Aryan origins.
Bhutan is an independent country. It became a unified kingdom in 1907. Its constitution was last ratified in 2008. Bhutan moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 2008 and, currently, the king is the head of state and prime minister the head of government. Executive powers rest on the cabinet while parliament has legislative powers. The King’s official palace is Dechencholing Palace, built-in 1953 in the capital’s CBD. However, the current King resides in the Wangdichholing Palace built in the mid-1800s, the birthplace of the first King’s father. Elections in Bhutan are through suffrage where each representative has a constituency. The electoral commission has laid down elaborate guidelines for successful elections. Unique to this country is that the king has an age limit and can also be voted out by parliament.
Factoring in Purchasing Power Parity, Bhutan’s $6,432,000,000.00 (USD) with $8,100.00 (USD) per capita. This makes it the 165th largest economy and its citizens the 146th richest in the world. The currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum (BTN).
Its major export partner is India. Its main exports are electricity, ferromagnetic, cement, and cardamom. Its major import partners are India and France. Its major imports include fuel, lubricants, airplanes, and machinery.
Dammaru Niraula was our guide and confidant for our recent visit to Nepal. We went on a humanitarian visit to build a hothouse in the village of Phortse in the Khumbu region of Nepal but also included some trekking on a personal level before and after our project. Dammaru was a vital link in getting the project off the ground and…
Dammaru Niraula Trekking Guide Trip Leader I have had an association with Dammaru over the last three years. My first trek with Dammaru was to the Solu Khumbu region where he tailored a trek to suit our request to climb some remote passes and stay off the main tourist routes where possible. His knowledge of the area was very impressive and his attention to our safety was always his major concern. The second trek I did with Dammaru two years…
Dear Dammaru I have been trekking to Ghorepani poon hill on Jan 07 for 6 days with Mr. Dammaru. Poonhill is so beautiful, so all I can do is just taking pictures on poon hill. If you were planning to trek in Nepal, I…
I was a member of a group of nine friends from Northamptonshire in 204 from the UK, on a trek of the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Apart from one member, we were all approaching or over the age of 60 and were all well aware of the difficulties we could encounter at Thorong La which sits at an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769…
My husband and I embarked on a trip to Nepal in October 2006. We were hoping to avoid the large tour groups and were referred to Himalayan Holidays based in Kathmandu as a provider of customized tours. We had looked on the net to determine the tour we wanted to undertake and spoke to many people and eventually decided 6-day on Ghorepani Poon…
Dammaru Niraula was our guide and confidant for our recent visit to Nepal. We went on a humanitarian visit to build a hothouse in the village of Phortse in the Khumbu region of Nepal but also included some trekking on a personal level before and after our project. Dammaru was a vital link in getting the project off the ground and then as a support person in Nepal before, during and after. He completed the following tasks with the utmost professionalism and patience. Arranged transfer of a large number of funds from Australian bank account to Nepalese bank account. Communications with the village before we arrived to ensure the walls were built. Organized our itinerary and necessary bookings for the trekking part of our journey for 8 adults. Once we arrived in Nepal he then assisted us in purchasing all the gear we needed for the finishing of the hothouse. e.g. Polycarbonate roof sheeting and the many other bits of hardware necessary. Transport of the roofing etc to Phortse village via helicopter, plane, yak, and porter. As well as being a part of the project Dammaru also was our trekking guide for the duration of our trip of 5 weeks. He organized everything for us from the hotel, in Kathmandu and everything in between our trek to base camp. He is honest, reliable and always puts the customer first. I would have no hesitation in recommending Dammaru to anyone who is considering a trip to Nepal.
My husband and I embarked on a trip to Nepal in October 2006. We were hoping to avoid the large tour groups and were referred to Himalayan Holidays based in Kathmandu as a provider of customized tours. We had looked on the net to determine the tour we wanted to undertake and spoke to many people and eventually decided 6-day on Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. We live in a plain and therefore training for the trek was a challenge in itself. We spent our weekends climbing up and down a 700metre high hill that was regarded as sufficiently steep for our training needs. However, we were unsure of what to expect in Nepal and were concerned about our levels of fitness for the trek that we had in mind. We were introduced to our guide, Dammaru at the hotel we were staying in Kathmandu and our anxieties were quickly alleviated. This diminutive gentleman exuded confidence and assured us that he was able to accommodate our individual fitness levels and ensure that our time in his country was hassle free. And indeed he did! Without it being particularly noticeable, Dammaru controlled the tempo of our daily treks in order that the enjoyment factor always exceeded any physical discomfort. His relationship with the locals was both real & genuine which meant we never felt like intruders or uncomfortable in their presence. Dammaru's keen negotiation skills with the local tea house proprietors' meant the delay between arriving & unwinding from the challenges of our daily treks was minimal with the accommodation always being appropriate to our needs. His professionalism was faultless. He provided us with a wealth of information on all aspects of the history, culture, flora, and fauna of this remarkable country. Not only was he a fantastic guide, but his cheeky grin and sense of humor ensured Dammaru to be a fantastic traveling companion. Our dealings with Dammaru exceeded all expectations and we hope to make a return visit to this stunningly beautiful country.
Nepal celebrates 34th World Tourism Day with the aim to promote water tourism in Nepal. This year’s theme celebration “Tourism and…Jan-28-2015