THE DRAGON LAND
No one seems to know exactly the meaning of the word Bhutan but it is believed that it is derived from `Bhot’ which is the name given by Tibetans to their own country and `Tan’ which is a corruption of the word `stan’ meaning Land. The Bhutanese however prefer to call their country `Druk-Yul’ which means `The Land of the Dragon’. Bhutan is renowned for its undiluted cultures and unspoiled natural wonders. Bhutan’s past is still its present.
The old capital of the kingdom has a temperate climate almost year-round. Punakha Dzong at the confluence of the Po and Mo (father and mother) rivers, is the winter home for the monastic community. There are splendid views of the distant Himalayas on the road from Thimpu to Punakha.
The wide Central Valley of Bumthang is the ancestral home of Buddhism in Bhutan, and is a place of pilgrimage for the Bhutanese people. The many important monasteries and temples contain a wealth of valuable religious artifacts.
The most important eastern town in Bhutan, Tashigang is the centre of one of the most populated district in the kingdom, an area where much of Bhutan’s finest weaving come. In the valleys of Merak and Sakteng live in the remarkable Brogpa yak-herders.
The capital of Bhutan, and the center of government, religion and commerce. It is unique city, with an unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient tradition.
The gateway of the south is a thriving commercial center on the northern edge of the Indian plains. From here, heading northwards, the road twists and turns up into the Himalayan foothills, passing through lush forest and scattered villages, at altitudes up to 8,000 ft.
This beautiful valley, with its rich terraced farmland, is home to some of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries as well as Bhutan’s first airport. An ancient watchtower holds the National Museum, whilst overlooking the valley is the cliff-side: “Tigers Nest” monastery of Takstang.