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The small landlocked wonder Nation is situated in the Eastern Himalayas and is surrounded by its neighbors China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The country still has a king and is one of the last existing Buddhist kingdoms at still exist. Buddhism flourished here during the 8th century when Guru Padmasmbhava came here all the way from Tibet on a flying Tigress, according to the Legends. The most famous symbol of Bhutan, The Tigers Nest is said to be the place where he landed on reaching Bhutan and the myth along with culture has prepared a kingdom built on its cultural heritage. It has also received worldwide appreciation for its Gross National Happiness approach propounded by fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, implemented for its citizens. The kingdom has understood the importance of its citizens staying happy and they have made provisions and departments to make note of the factors that collectively defines their happiness.

history of bhutan

History of Bhutan

The history of Bhutan is based on mythological events that still remain unclear. The mystical kingdom also provides evidence that its early settlements could have been as early as 2000BC. The later history states that the region was ruled by Sangaldip the King of Cooch Behar in the 7th century. During the 9th century the turmoil in Tibet forced the Tibetans to flee to Bhutan which also triggered the influence of Buddhism. It was finally in the 12th century that the Drukpa Kagyupa School was formed and soon became the most influencer form of Buddhism which is still evident today. Bhutan is one of few countries that always remained independent throughout their long history and was never governed by any foreign power.

Entry into Bhutan & Visa

Bhutan is accessible by air and by road.

The land route is through the border town of Phuentsholing, Bhutan's southern gateway and commercial hub. The town is a three-hour drive from the airport at Bagdogra in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Indian hill stations of Darjeeling and Gangtok are seven hours away by road.

Druk Air, the national flagship airline, is the only such service operating in the country. Its two British Aerospace BAE 146 jets, technically the aircrafts most suited to Bhutan, fly to and from Paro town. Paro is, thanks to the difficult topography of the country, Bhutan's only airport. Druk Air flies in from the capital cities of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Thailand and from New Delhi and Calcutta in India. Each of these routes offer views of some of the highest mountains in the world such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and Bhutan's revered peaks of Chomolhari and Kulagangri.

Every airport on the world's mightiest mountain range is subject to the whims of nature and Para is no exception. Druk Air flights are sometimes delayed by unfavourable weather so visitors would do well to include an additional day in their itineraries. But rest assured that the airline has had no history of mishaps in its 18 years of operation.

As with visas to Bhutan, Druk Air tickets are issued only in Bhutan. BTS can book them for you and send them to you or to the D rukair out stations . It is advisable that contact us well in advance of your visit. This will save you unnecessary hindrances that arise otherwise, particularly during the peak spring and autumn months.

The same applies to visa formalities. Early intimation allows timely issue of visa numbers.

The following information must be sent to us to process visa approval.

  • Full name as in passport
  • Permanent address
  • Occupation
  • Nationality
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Issue and Expiry date
  • Date of birth and place
  • Place of Issue
  • Exact duration of visa required
  • Date of entry and exit and sector
  • The number, which we will then send to you, is essential in order to be allowed onboard Druk Air flights. The actual visas are issued on payment of US $ 20 upon entry into Bhutan. You will also need two passport size photographs.

Note: Visas are not issued by Bhutanese embassies and missions abroad. Visas are also extended only in Thimphu by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

What to bring

Druk Air observes a baggage weight limit of 20 kilogrammes (44 lb) in economy class and 30 kilogrammes (66lb) in business class so it may be troublesome and expensive to carry too much. Casual clothes are generally most suitable though a set of formal wear might come in handy as might rain gear, windbreakers, sun caps and sunglasses. You should come prepared for vast contrasts of weather. Sun cream and lip protection will help.

Strange as it may seem you may wish midway through your stay that you had brought along a set of ear plugs, a Swiss army knife or useful equivalent, a small backpack, and a soft suitcase instead of one made of less versatile material.


If you plan to trek or engage in adventure sport and if you plan to come through one of our associate companies abroad it is advisable that you are covered by a travel insurance policy as such policies are non-existent in Bhutan. Insurance will prove useful should unforeseen needs like helicopter rescue crop up.


The national currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum (Nu.) valued at par with the Indian Rupee, which is also used in the country. As of midyear 2001, the Ngultrum's exchange value hung at about Nu. 48 to the US Dollar.

Visa and American Express credit cards are accepted in few places but have a limited use. Travellers cheques as well as US and Hong Kong Dollars, Pound Sterling, French and Swiss Francs, German Mark, and Japanese Yen can be exchanged at local banks and at most hotels.


While hotelling in Bhutan cannot equal international standards, all tourist hotels are comfortable, clean, and reasonably well run. BTS has full access and has carefully selected the best hotels and guest houses in Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue, Punakha, Trongsa and Bumthang.


Our guides are licensed and trained in programs conducted by the Department of Tourism. Our trekking guides have additional mountain guide training, including safety and first aid instructions to lead any size of groups. You will be accompanied throughout your time with an English speaking guide, driver and car at your disposal at all time. Guides have explored every route in Bhutan.


Spicy chillies and cheese blended with a wide variety of vegetables are found on many Bhutanese menus. BTS chooses restaurants and hotels that prepare food more suitable to western taste ranging from Continental to Chinese and Bhutanese to Indian. The choice is yours.


BTS maintains modern Toyota cars, land cruisers and coaster buses for all group sizes.

Every transport are rechecked properly before every tour to ensure safety and comfort for all clients.

Altitude and climate

Although only the size of Switzerland, Bhutan's topography and climate are those of dramatic contrasts. The land rises from the southern sub-tropics at an altitude of about 1,000 feet above sea level to snow-capped peaks of over 20,000 feet in the north. The central temperate belt, which encompasses most of the major settlements and tourist haunts, ranges from about 4,500 to 14,000 feet. The capital city of Thimphu, for example, is situated at 8,300 feet.

The climate along this belt defies generalization but it can be safely said that spring (March to May) brings warm days and cool nights with the mercury averaging 20° Celsius at daytime. With June come occasional downpours and summer temperatures peak at over 27° Celsius. The milder months of fall (September to November) are less wet and are the best time of the year for trekking. The ensuing months are the driest and nighttime temperatures often plummet to below zero. However, winter offers its own charms of sunny blue skies and unhindered view of snow-capped mountains.

Places to go

Tiger’s Nest, Paro

It is one of the most engaging places within Bhutan where people have set their odds right to just have a look into this beautiful creation perched on a hill. Legend says it’s the place Guru Padmasambhava landed on his Tigress to cleanse the evil spirits that surrounded the kingdom. It is a little uphill trek from the road and the scene from the opposite of the monastery is purely magical.

Rinpung Dzong, Paro

This beautiful quaint heritage Dzong is scenic and engagingly creative. Dzongs are actually monasteries and fortresses that have rich heritage behind their creation and are generally perched on top of a hill. Rinpung Dzong is situated in Paro and is one of the top places to visit in Bhutan. The impressive architecture and the vibe in general will leave you enchanted. They hold great significance in the Bhutanese culture and is of great historical significance.

Dochula Pass

It is another Bhutanese wonder which is situated on the way from Thimphu to Punakha. It lies at a distance of 20 km from Thimphu and lies between high mountains. The amazing place is also home to 108 chortens or prayer structures. It stands at an altitude of about 10,000 feet and the mornings here are very pleasant and the whole place is wrapped in white beautiful blanket of mist.

Buddha Dordenma, Thimpu

Being a Buddhist kingdom, it is evident that their inclination and culture towards the religion is understandable. Another pretty wonderful creation is the Gigantic Buddha Doedenma statue located atop a hill on Kuenselphodrang Nature park. It is almost 5.2 meters high and is a fascinating cultural and religious site. The landscape surrounding the temple is equally amazing and it completes the place making it a delightful paradise.

Institute for Zorig Chusum, Thimpu

It is a famous traditional art institute also known as ‘the painting school’ which provides several courses to teach the students almost 13 traditional art forms of Bhutan. It is also an effort to preserve the culture and art of Bhutan and makes a great place to see young rosy cheeked students. The variety of art forms stretches from Thangkas to religious arts which are usually done on canvas. You will also find embodied wall hangings, clothing and clay statues which are pretty unique and culturally rich.

Takin Preserve, Motithang (Thimpu)

You must firstly know that Takin is the national animal of Bhutan and it would be great to view the unique species, which is also a mix of cow and goat. You can view this amazing species here and it is likely to be an amazing experience. The locals have a story behind the animal’s creation which says that once a Divine Madman was asked to perform a miracle and he in front of others, cast a spell that resulted in a unique animal with a head of a goat and body of a cow.

Handicrafts Market, Thimphu

The country of Bhutan has a deep level of cultural secrets that may take time for you to understand but till then the easiest way of understanding would be through their handicrafts. The handicrafts market in Thimphu is an amazing place to be and buy souvenirs from Bhutan. Take back the best of handicrafts among the huge variety of options that you may find here. You must visit here for a touch of local traditional insight and understanding too.