1st King of Bhutan – Ugyen Wangchuk (1862-1926)
The First Druk Gyalpo was also known as Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck. He was born in the year 1862 to Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel and Ashi Pema Choki at Wangduecholing Palace in Bumthang. His preparation as a fighter started at an exceptionally youthful age. He founded the “Buddhist Monarchy” in 1907. His endeavors to make Bhutan a peaceful nation drove him to build the country on the foundation of dharma, peace and spirituality. He brought long-lasting peace and harmony to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The day of his coronation, December 17, is celebrated as the “National Day of Bhutan”
2nd King of Bhutan – Jigme Wangchuk (1905-1952)
The second Druk Gyalpo was born in 1905 and he was throne in 1926. In order to fulfill his father’s wishes to create “Fair and Justice Society”, first thing was to reform the taxation system which was a big burden to people. Henceforth the taxes should be paid directly to the government without referring to the Dzongkhag officials and some of the taxes were abolished.
3rd King of Bhutan – Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1929-1972)
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was the Third Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan. He was someone who is credited for ushering in a new era in modern Bhutan and is often regarded as the father of modern Bhutan for the dynamic changes that he brought about in the country during his reign as the king. Among his numerous achievements, his most impressive was ensuring that Bhutan became a member of the United Nations and made the country a part of the global diplomatic circle with modern education as top priority.
4th King of Bhutan – Jigme Singye Wangchuk
Jigme Singye Wangchuck was born on 11 November 1955 ascended the throne when he was just 17 years old, making him the youngest monarch in the world. He is also known for his efforts to preserve Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and natural environment. The king felt that “Gross National Happiness is more essential than Gross National Product,” and this became the guideline for the measurement of development in the country. Bhutan saw remarkable development under the authority of the ruler. He is regarded as great fourth.
5th King of Bhutan – Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk was born in February 21, 1980 and was coroneted in ceremony on November 1, 2008, the year that marks the 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan. He is a proponent of democracy and strives to achieve improved standards in civil service, education and business sectors and in this pursuit travels widely across Bhutan meeting and encouraging the youth, referring future of Bhutan. He is loved by one and all and regarded as people’s king in Bhutan.
Royal Families: Royal-families-of-Bhutan
The House of Wangchuck has ruled Bhutan since it was reunified in 1907. The Wangchuck dynasty ruled government power in Bhutan and established relations with the British Empire and India under its first two monarchs. The third, fourth, and fifth (current) monarchs have put the kingdom on its path toward democratization, decentralization and development.
Map of Bhutan: map-of-Bhutan
Bhutan History: know-Bhutan-history
Bhutan is one of only a few countries which have been independent throughout their history, never conquered, occupied, or governed by an outside power. From the time historical records were clear, Bhutan has continuously and successfully defended its sovereignty. Today Bhutan is regarded as happiest country in the world.
Health System in Bhutan: health-system-in-Bhutan
Healthcare in Bhutan is one of the King’s highest priorities in its scheme of development and modernization. The vision is to be an “A Nation with the best Healthcare System”. Health related issues are overseen by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has provided universal health care in Bhutan since the 1970s. Strong healthcare facilities are established in remote parts of the country as well. Bhutan is ready to battle any kind of diseases outbreak or during high degree disasters, the scheme is supported by WHO and other countries. Healthcare and medical facilities in Bhutan is free of cost for all Bhutanese.
Education System in Bhutan: education-in-Bhutan
Western style education was introduced to Bhutan during the reign of 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, until 1950s the only formal education available to Bhutanese students was through Buddhist monasteries. Today, the education framework incorporates formal, non-formal, and monastic schools. Enrolment in the formal system begins at age of six however students can apply to the monastic schools at any age. The non-formal centers provide basic literacy skills for all ages. The government provides free education to all students until Grade 10 and maximum scholarships to students who meet the requirements for higher and professional studies. Education is Bhutan is one of the best educations among Asian countries.
Agriculture System: agriculture-in-Bhutan
Agriculture in Bhutan has a dominant role in the Bhutan’s economy. Majority of the Bhutanese farmers continue to practice self-sustaining, integrated and subsistence agricultural production system with small land holdings where farmers grow a variety of crops under different farming practices and rear livestock to meet their household food security. The Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest is exploring several techniques to enhance organic food production.
Biological Corridor: Bio-logical-hot-spot-Bhutan
Biological Corridors were first established in 1999 and bestowed as a Gift to the Earth from Bhutan. There were initially 12 corridors with a total coverage of 3,660 km2 connecting all nine of Bhutan’s protected areas. But with the establishment of Wangchuck Centennial National Park in 2008, three corridors were subsumed.
Parks and Reserved Forest: parks-reserved-forent-of-bhutan
The protected areas of Bhutan are its national parks, nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Most of these protected areas were first set aside in the 1960s, originally covering most of the northern and southern regions of Bhutan. There are five national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries and one nature reserve, which together constitute about 43% of Bhutan, or 16,396 sq km. Today is a biodiversity hotspot, one of the last remaining in the world, 72.5% of the total land is covered by forest with 60% of the land is already under protection as nationals parks, nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries.
Political System: political-system-of-bhutan
Bhutan is the world’s only Buddhist kingdom. The Bhutanese name for the country is Druk Yul which means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Bhutan’s call for democracy was a top down sermon by the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. Until King introduce democratic system in Bhutan on 2008, welfare and country’s development were all taken care from the throne room. King is the head of the state and Prime Minister along with his cabinet ministers take care of the country’s development activities for a period of five years term. The organs of the Bhutanese government comprises of the legislature, judiciary and the executive. The ruling political party, the opposition and the National Council now form the legislative body.
A fine art piece which is very unique to Bhutan so called “Phallus, or as we know it by “Penis” is found on the walls of the buildings around the valleys. It is believed that divine saint Drukpa Kunley had influenced Buddhist teaching through his eccentric technique to convert non-religious community into strong Buddhist believer and blessed the valley full of childless couples with ever increasing healthy children.
One of our guests said, “Anyone who’s been to Bhutan recounts sightings of “institutionalized” graffiti on the walls, commemorating a tradition that Buddhists solemnly swear by. Walls bear paintings of penises, some big, some small, some “terrifyingly huge”. They come in various colours and some of them having ribbons tied around them like Christmas presents, while the most bizarre depictions of the ‘prick’ also have eyes! ….and yes, all of them are fully erect.”
Cultural Aspect: cultural-believes-practices-of-Bhutan
While Bhutan is definitely one of the smallest countries in the world, yet the cultural diversity and its richness are profound. Bhutan has successfully preserved many aspects of her culture, which dates directly back to the 17th century. Modern Bhutanese culture derives from ancient culture. Bhutanese society is centered on the practice of Buddhism, which is the main religion. Men wear a knee length robe tied with a belt called gho, folded in such a way to form a pocket in front of the stomach. Women wear colourful dress called Kira covering their full body.
Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country. The exact month of the Tshechu varies from place to place and temple to temple. Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances tshechus also includes colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainments. It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once to in order to receive blessings and wash away the sins.
Monks and Monk bodies: monks-religion-in-Bhutan
Bhutan is regarded as one of the last Buddhist countries where the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism has flourished uninterrupted and undiluted since its arrival in the 7th century AD. Bhutanese culture, tradition, customs, history, and landscape bear the influence of Buddhism. This is attributed to the institutionalization of the Zhung Dratshang, or the Central Monk Body, since its establishment in 1620 by His Holiness Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
Judiciary System: Judiciary-law-system-in-bhutan
The judicial system of Bhutan is the purview of the Royal Court of Justice, the judicial branch of the government of Bhutan under the constitution. The judicial system comprises the Judicial Commission, the courts, the police, the penal code and regulations on attorneys.
Modern Development: development-modern-Bhutan
The government of Bhutan has played a pervasive role in its economy and development. The introduction of modern education prepared the strong citizenship along with monastic education. Among the Bhutanese people there are growing expectations, rising steadily like Bhutan’s forest cover, for more consumption and possession. Expectations may be ideally molded to fit a lifestyle that reflects a balance between tradition and modernization, between materialism and spiritualism, and between commodity wealth and quality of life. The core of development is framed by gross national happiness.
Ancient History: ancient-history-of-bhutan
Bhutan was inhabited as early as 2000 BC. Stone tools, weapons and large stone structures from that period have been unearthed here. Theoretically, historians guess that the state of Lhomon (meaning ‘Southern Darkness’) or Monyul (meaning ‘Dark Land’ believed to be inhabited by aboriginals of Bhutan known as Monpa) may have existed here between 500 BC and 600 AD. Ancient Bhutanese and Tibetan chronicles also mention the names of Lhomon Tsendenjong (meaning ‘Sandalwood Country’) and Southern Mon (meaning ‘Country of Four Gateways’ or Lhomon Khashi). The earliest notable event that has been recorded in Bhutan is the passage of Guru Rinpoche, also known as the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava, in the 8th century.
Gross National Happiness: gross-national-happiness-in-bhutan
The idea of happiness and wellbeing as the goal of development has always been a part of the Bhutanese political psyche. 4th Druk Gyalpo His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced Gross National Happiness (GNH) in 1970s to define the official development paradigm for Bhutan. Today Bhutan is regarded as happiest nation in the world.
Tourism in Bhutan: Bhutan-tourism
Tourism in Bhutan began in 1974, when the Government of Bhutan, in an effort to raise revenue and to promote the country’s unique culture and traditions to the outside world, opened its isolated country to foreigners. In 1974, 287 tourists visited Bhutan. Since then the number of tourists visiting Bhutan has increased to 2,850 in 1992, rising dramatically to 7,158 in 1999. By the late 1980s tourism contributed over US$2 million in annual revenue. Today tourism is 2nd highest revenue contributor after Hydro Power.
Despite being open to foreigners, the government is acutely aware of the environmental impact tourists can have on Bhutan’s unique and virtually unspoiled landscape and culture. Therefore tourism policy and regulation were carefully drafted with His Majesty’s personal guidance based on principal concept of “High Value, Low Impact” introducing minimum must bear package cost since the beginning of the tourism in Bhutan. Today Bhutan is known among exclusive destinations topping the wish list of visitors in the world.
All tourists (group or individual) must travel on a planned, prepaid, guided package tour or custom designed travel program and the arrangements must be made through an officially approved Bhutan based tour operator like Heavenly Bhutan. Foreigners cannot travel independently in Bhutan.
Why to visit Bhutan?
There are numerous factors which are very unique to Bhutan which astonish foreigners to grow their interest of visiting Bhutan at least once in their life time. Some of the characters which are very unique to Bhutan are;
– The most farsighted Kings (leaders in the world)
– Core development policy of GNH
– More than 72.5 percent of her land is covered with forest
– The only carbon negative country in the world
– Unique tourism policy in the world
– The most peaceful country in the world
– Happiest country in the world
– The most mysterious temple so called Tiger Nest standing over thousands years on the veer rocky cliff above 900m from the valley, in the list of world must visit before you die
– The world most hospitable people are found in Bhutan, always with smile
– Honest, simplicity and zero corruption are some of the unique things which make every visitor happy
There are many uniqueness which Heavenly Bhutan team incorporates while we build the itinerary beyond our regular programs. Travel with Heavenly Bhutan, you will be treated heavenly.
TCB-Government body: tourism-council-of-bhutan
The Royal Government of Bhutan adheres strongly to a policy of ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism which serves the purposes of creating an image of exclusivity and high – yield for Bhutan. In line with this, Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is official authority who assures the quality services, destination capacity building, policy making and destination marketing. However having said this Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is not responsible for organizing your visa, trip and other services. You must contact Heavenly Bhutan for your trip enquiry. For more details log onto https://www.tourism.gov.bt/
Immigration has extensive history of safe guarding the country and having world most smiling, friendly and polite officers at the check points. Immigration policy and procedure are implemented by the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, department of immigration. Any tourist visiting Bhutan must follow the immigration norms and procedure for obtaining visa, permits and traveling inside the country. Anyone caught violating the rules will be dealt as per the immigration act of Bhutan. http://www.mohca.gov.bt/
Foreign Diplomats in Bhutan | diplomats-in-bhutan
Bhutan has diplomatic relations with 52 states and the European Union. In1971 under the rule of 3rd King of Bhutan, Bhutan began to develop its foreign relations by joining the United Nations. Tourist visa is not issued from Consulate Generals, Bhutanese Embassies outside or from Foreign Ministry. Diplomats who wish to travel to Bhutan for your leisure holidays must contact travel agencies in Bhutan like Heavenly Bhutan. For more information you can log onto http://www.mfa.gov.bt/?page_id=55
Sponsorship Program in Bhutan
Sponsorship Program: foreigner-sponsors-in-bhutan
In view of contributing to the society and helping others, Heavenly Bhutan contributes to some of the institutes for educations, help needy employees to stand on their own and villagers. If you would like to join us do write to us, we will be happy to make you as our generous members for helping poor and needy people in Bhutan. You don’t have to do anything, we just want you to recommend Heavenly Bhutan for traveling to Bhutan or choose Heavenly Bhutan to travel in Bhutan, this is already great help for us. Therefore we consider recommending Heavenly Bhutan to your friends, families and others are as good as sponsoring for better education and helping Bhutanese society. We look forward to get your recommendations always.
Education Sponsorship: help-sponsor-educate-child-in-bhutan
Royal Government of Bhutan provides free universal public education for all the children till class 10, many children still do not complete their basic education due to financial problems, parenting and other difficulties therefore realizing the value of education, Heavenly Bhutan always support education institutes and individuals. If anyone is interested to donate and support to achieve young stars dream come true, we consider you as best citizen of the world. In Bhutanese, we say “the benefit of making single person happy cannot be compare with the possible load that horse can carry”. If not even if you choose to use “Heavenly Bhutan Packages or Travel Services in Bhutan, you are already responsible travelers and contributing towards better education. Thank you for choosing Heavenly Bhutan, we look forward to get many more recommendations so that we can keep contributing to our tiny society for better educations.
Community Tourism: support-community-tourism-in-bhutan
Best way to experience Bhutan is taking community based packages. The package includes stay in the farm houses, trekking through villages and buying their home made products. First community tourism started in the village of Nabji Korphu and expended in other areas as well. Heavenly Bhutan takes deep responsibility to support our communities and give amazing trips to our esteemed guests. We hope you will like our community packages and contribute. Your visit to Bhutan and taking Heavenly Bhutan packages will help us to extend our support to our communities.
NGOs in Bhutan: NGOs-in-bhutan
Volunteerism in Bhutan is deeply grounded in its traditional beliefs systems and community practices. Bhutanese society depended very much on helping each other since long ago. The first such association was National Youth Association of Bhutan, formed by a group of young civil servants in 1973. Some of the active NGOs are SNV Bhutan, Civil Society, Disabled Persons, WWF, Bhutan Foundation, RENEW, Tarayana Foundation, Draktsho, RSPN, Lodern Foundation, SABA Bhutan etc. If you would like to seek the visit or enjoy some of their amazing contributions to the nation, we will be happy to include appointments in the program with them. You are most welcome to donate any amount directly, remember “small drop of water makes the mighty ocean”