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Bhutan – the land of the thunder dragon

'Druk Yul'- meaning 'the land of Dragon' is the Bhutanese name for their country. Opened for the world only in 1974 after the coronation of the present King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Bhutan is a fascinating, yet to be explored paradise. The kingdom lies arrested by glorious mountains with Tibet to the north and Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and West Bengal on the east, south and west respectively.

Mahayana Buddhism is the core religion in Bhutan. In the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava (reincarnation of Sakyamuni Buddha) landed in Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) on the cliffs above the valley of Paro. From then onwards Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism came into existence. Bhutan is the only extant Mahayana Buddhist kingdom in the present world and the living faith among the people are the example of their devotion. The spinning of prayer wheels, the chanting of mantras, the glow of butter lamps and the air of spirituality that hangs in every corner is the living proof of their spiritual life.

The country retains the charm of the old world where travelers get to experience the full glory of the ancient land. The kindgdom is traversed with monastic fortresses, ancient temples, monastries and stupas around the countryside. Prayer flags are fluttered above farmhouses and on the hillside. The verdant green vegetation, rushing glacial rivers and most important of all, the warm smiles and genuine friendliness of the people who have been able to preserve their traditions and customs throughout is what makes it remarkable to see and feel Bhutan with your own eyes and hands !

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