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Bhutan- Land of monks
The Kingdom of Bhutan lies east of Nepal and west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is south of Tibetan region of China and north of the Indian states of Assam
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and West Bengal. Located in the heart of the high Himalayan mountain range, Bhutan is a land-locked country surrounded by mountains in the north and west. Altitudes in the south range from 1000 to 4500 feet. In the more populated central regions range from 400 feet in the east around Tashigang to a high of 17,000 feet over the highest pass. The altitude at Thimphu the capital is 7,700 feet.
A population of 600,000 is made up primarily of indigenous Bhutanese known as the Drukpa. Three main ethnic groups, the Ngalops, Sharchops and the Lotshampas make up today’sBhutan Map Drupka. The Ngalops migrated from the Tibetan plains and are the importers of Buddhism into Bhutan. The Sharchops reside predominantly in eastern Bhutan and their origin can be traced to the tribes of north Burma and north east India. The lower southern regions are inhabited by Lhotshampas who are mostly agricultural workers. The geography of the land kept each ethnic group separate until the middle of this century when roads were built across the country. The contrasting ethnic diversity has meant that a number of different languages and dialects are spoken throughout the kingdom. The National language is Dzogkha which is taught in all schools.
Children The Buddhist faith has played and continues to play a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and its people. It permeates all strands of secular life, bringing with it a reverence for the land its well being. Annual festivals are held in each district which are important spiritual occasions. Festivals are becoming a major attraction to tourists visiting Bhutan.
Bhutan is perhaps the only country in the world to retain the tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism as its official religion. To ensure the perpetuation of Buddhism in the Kingdom, one son from each family normally attends monastic school. While the Dzongs are centres of administrative and government activities for all the valley, they are also predominantly the homes and temples of the monastic community.
Bhutan enjoys four seasons each having its advantages and disadvantages to the visitor. The southern plains close to the Indian border are warmer and more tropical than higher central valleys.

Spring is perhaps the most beautiful time of the year when the fierce cold that characterises the winter months tends to subside towards the end of February with beautiful Rhododendron blooming with spectacular flaming red, pink and white colours. Summer months in the southern region are generally hot whereas in other parts of the country it is warm and pleasant with average maximum temperatures not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius and the minimum at around 10-15 degrees Celsius. The annual monsoon from the Bay of Bengal is also experienced around the country between June and September.

The autumn months from September to November bring shorter days and cooler evenings. The days are crisp with clear skies. Views over the Himalayas are usually the best during September to March. Beginning December the weather takes on its winter coat where days remain crisp and the nights turn cold. The southern region however being much lower has a more temperate climate and considerably warmer winters.
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