The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country located in the eastern Himalayas between Tibet in the north and India in the south. Bhutan has a rugged and mountainous landscape with snowcapped peaks and glacier covered terrain in the north, spurs of the Himalayan peaks in the center and heavily forested foothills and subtropical plains in the south.
Bhutan has long maintained a policy of strict isolationism, both culturally and economically and as a result the Bhutanese culture is one of the oldest (dating back to the mid 17th century) and well preserved cultures in the world. In fact it has only been in the recent decades of the 20th century that foreigners have been allowed to visit the country, and only in limited numbers. Bhutan has an estimated population of 600,000 which is sparsely distributed throughout the country. There are three main ethnic groups in Bhutan; the Ngalungs (often called Drukpas) live in the north-western region and their ancestors migrated from Tibet, the Sharchops who inhabit the eastern and central region and derive from northern Burma and northeast India and lastly the Lhotshampas are the third ethnic group who live in the southern foothill districts and are of Nepali origin. The Bhutanese revere the tantric guru Padmasambhava the founder of Himalayan Buddhism in the 8th century.
This is a land of awesome mountains – some of the highest in the world – thick-forested valleys and imposing dzong, monastery fortifications often perched up on cliffsides. It is a place where landscapes are dotted with blue poppies, snow leopards and innumerable banners of bright flapping prayer flags.
Yes, prayers. Bhutan takes its Buddhism seriously. The religion pervades all levels of life, resulting in peaceful temples, red-robed monks scurrying along the streets, a mind-blowing number of deities and legends, and a widespread belief in practising kindness and loving to all sentient beings
what could be better than that?
Epic Adventures can arrange many treks to this magical kingdom, to suit your timescales and budgets.