The name Bhutan appears to have been derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhotant', meaning 'the end of Tibet', or from 'Bhu-uttan', meaning 'high land'. Historically the Bhutanese have referred to their country as Druk Yul or the 'land of the thunder dragon'. Druk means dragon and extends from the predominant Drukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Bhutanese refer to themselves as Drukpa people.
The last of the Mahayana Buddhist Kingdoms, this remote, mystical country is still one of the most un-spoilt places in the world. Wedged between India, China and Bangladesh, the Kingdom covers approximately 46,000 square kilometers with an ecosystem ranging from sub-tropical to alpine. The population is a little over half a million and mostly lives in small villages along the mountain slopes and valleys.
For years it lay hidden from the occidental tourists, being a forbidden land for outsiders. Today, however, Bhutan welcomes the discerning traveler in search of a rare and singular experience. Opened to tourism in 1974 on the coronation of the present King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Bhutan is one of the world's most exclusive destinations. The grandeur of the mountain peaks, the terraced hills, the lush, green valleys, the dense forests filled with rare flowers and diverse wildlife, the fast flowing crystal clear rivers, the pure, clean air, the unique architecture, art and culture and above all the delightful people who make the soul smile. a trip to Bhutan teaches one of life and real living.
Bhutan's official language is Dzongkha. Bhutan has never had a rigid class system. Social and educational opportunities are not affected by rank or by birth. Bhutanese women enjoy equal rights with men in every respect.
Tshechus are the main annual religious festivals of Bhutan that are celebrated to honour Guru Padmasambhava, also known as "Guru Rinpoche". For the people, the Tshechus are an occasion for socialising in their richest robes and ornaments. All this against a backdrop of the 'Ucchi' in the central courtyard of the Dzongs, mask dancers perform their incredible dances in a kaleidoscope of silks and brocades, while the deep notes of horns and trumpets reverberate across the valley. Staged at different times of the year in different parts of the Kingdom, Tshechu is an experience extraordinary.