On the roof of the world, shoe horned into the grand Himalaya, Bhutan, the thunder Dragon, is a fiercely independent kingdom. With an area slightly larger than Switzerland, there are only about 600,000 people. The name Bhutan appears to derive from
the ancient Indian term "Bhotanta" which means the end of land of the Bhots, it could also extend from the Sanskrit word Bhu'uttan or highland.
The Kingdom lies east of Nepal and west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Located in the heart of the high Himalayan mountain range, Bhutan is a land-locked country surrounded by mountains in north and west. The rugged east, visited by few Western travellers, the high Himalaya in the northern steppes separates the kingdom from Tibet.
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year in the kingdom. The fierce cold that characterises the winter months tends to subside towards the end February (around Bhutanese New Year, Lhosar). At the height of spring, the end of March, the whole kingdom comes to life with the spectacular flaming red, pink and white of Rododendrom blossom.
Isolated from the outside world till the 1960s, Bhutan manages to retain all the charm of the old world. Like timeless images from the
past, the traveller encounters the full glory of this ancient land through its strategic monastic fortresses known as Dzongs, numerous ancient temples, monastries and stupas which dot the countryside, prayer flags which flutter along the high ridges, wild animals which abundant in the dense forest, foamy white water falls which are like the real showers, and warm smiles of its friendly people. Each moment is special as one discovers a country which the people have chosen to preserve in its magical purity.
All visitors are now required to enter the kingdom at Paro by national airline, Druk-Air.