About Bhutan

Tourism in Bhutan is a new industry having started only in 1974 with the enthronement of the present King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. This tiny Himalayan kingdom is barely known to the outside world even today and if you look at the world map it is easy to overlook Bhutan. With the expansion of modern communications, Bhutan has become a part of the global village.

However, in order to ensure a balanced socio-economic development and to preserve a unique culture, the government has carefully regulated tourism. The Tourism Council of Bhutan ( TCB ) sets strict rules and regulations that are designed to discourage mass tourism. The number of tourists visiting Bhutan is still small but increasing year by year. The number has risen from about 3000 in 1993 to 11,000 in 2005. At present, the Department of Tourism is developing the infrastructure to accomodate about 15, 000 tourists by the year 2025.

This limited tourism provides the opportunity to individual travellers visiting Bhutan to gain a unique insight into a way of life seldom seen. Travellers feel it is a privilege to be there gathering many enchanting memories that automatically become engraved in their hearts. Bhutan¿s past is its present and modern development has so far blended in effectively with the traditional aspects of society. This unspoilt, sparsely populated country deserves special attention from avid travellers and welcomes people who want something different to join a cultural or an adventure tour. The National Geographic Society listed Bhutan as one of the ten top adventure destinations in the world.

Independent travel is not permitted. All tourists visiting Bhutan are required to travel through an authorized tour operator on a pre-planned, pre-paid, guided package tour. The tour operator is responsible for all logistical arrangements during your stay in Bhutan. The government stipulates a high minimum all-inclusive daily rate. The tour operator cannot offer discounts below this rate since it would be breaking the law. Please understand that, government royalties mean that the tour operator is working within a tight budget. Bhutan Dew Drop Travel has a carefully thought-out pricing structure which ensures that we can provide our visitors with the very best service and standards of accommodation without cutting any corners. We aim to provide you with the best services and facilities possible.

Though you will not necessarily notice this, permits are required for travelling within the country and for visiting certain religious sites. Bhutan Dew Drop Travel organizes this prior to your arrival. Please understand, however, that tourists may not visit certain specified regions and holy sites.

Bhutan is a small Himalayan Kingdom with a history of rich cultural Heritage. One of its unique features is hand woven textile. It is also one of the glories of Bhutanese popular art. Central and Eastern Bhutan are the primary centers of textile production, which is primarily a home handicraft done by women. While Thimphu itself has all the varieties of local textiles, it wouldn¿t compensate for a trip to the interior where some of Bhutan¿s most famous textiles have originated. We can watch live demonstrations by rural Bhutanese women of weaving traditions, preparation of dyes and other colors. Different regions have typical designs and fabrics, and even looms of special design

Bumthang

Bumthang in central Bhutan is acclaimed for weaving with sheep wool. The weavers here produce heavy twill fabrics made into blankets, rain cloaks, shawls and winter garments. All weaving is done on horizontal frame looms. Plaid woolen fabrics whose predominant colour is red (mathra) are trademark of Bumthang. Bumthang is also the home of yathra a woolen cloth patterned with traditional designs. The group will visit the Chumey and the Ura villages where traditional weaving is still strong.

Eastern Bhutan

Eastern Bhutan is renowned for plain weave fabrics, supplementary-weft-patterned fabrics, and supplementary warp patterned fabrics. This region produces an enviable range of textiles, of which the most coveted is Aikapur, characterized by alternating bands of plain weave (pang) and supplementary warp patterning (hor) done in five combinations. The group will visit Radhi, a village famous for producing this cloth.

Kurtoe/Lhuentse

Kurtoe/Lhuntse in North Central Bhutan is famous for cloth decorated with Kushu, a regional style of continuous supplementary-weft patterning on a wide field. The area is also known for mathra (plaid cloth, predominantly red pattern). The most celebrated of Kurto¿s supplementary-weft pattern weaving is the woman¿s dress called Kushuthara (brocaded dress), decorated in the Kushu technique also seen on bags and other textiles. In Khoma village, a three-hour walk from road head where, again, live demonstrations will be held. In Khoma the group can also get acquainted with the Bhutanese tradition of receiving and sending off guests, an elaborate but fully satisfying experience which has disappeared in other parts of Bhutan.

Khaling

Khaling in Trashigang is the only hand-loom center established by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The center is known for its innovative designs, incorporating both traditional and modern designs and coloring.

Others

Further, certain hand-made stuffs viz wooden mask, bamboo-weaved things like ‘BANGCHOO’, ‘BASKET’,etc can be found in certain parts of bhutan.

National Dress

Bhutanese men wear Gho, a longish robe tied around the waist by a cloth belt, known as Kera. The women wear an ankle-length dress known as Kira, which is made of bright colored fine woven fabric with traditional patterns.

National Butterfly

Ludlow’s Bhutan Swallowtail is found only in Bhutan. They are found in Tobrang, a remote part of the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Trashiyangtse, in the Eastern region of the country. In August 2011, a research team from Bhutan in collaboration with the Butterfly Society of Japan sighted their first Bhutanitis ludlowi and thanks to the rediscovery of the butterfly, it become the national butterfly of Bhutan.

People

A majority of the Bhutanese are homogeneous groups divided linguistically into Sharchops, Ngalongs, and Lhotshampas. There are a number of smaller groups such as the Bumthap in Bumthang, Tshangla in east, Layapa in the north-west, Brokpa in the north-east and Doya in the south-west.

National Animal

(Budorcas taxicolor whiteii) an extremely rare bovid mammal of the ovine-caprine family. It lives in herds in the steepest and most thickly wooded declivities of native mountains at an altitude of 4K meters and eats bamboo. It can weigh as much as 250 Kgs.

National Game

The national sport of Bhutan is archery. Other traditional sports include Degkor, resembling shot put and Khuru, a kid of outdoor dart game and wrestling. These traditional sports, especially archery are imbued with communal, religious and commercial significance. International sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, cricket, tennis and table tennis are also popular.

National Tree

(Cupressus corneyana) is locally known as Tsenden. It is considered sacred and is often associated with religious places. It’s ability to grow in inhospitable soil and its strong and straight structure is believed to be akin to the element of simplicity, hardiness and bravery in the people of Bhutan.

Arts & Crafts

Zorig Chusum refers to the 13 traditional visual arts and crafts that have been practiced for generations. These arts are expressed through: painting, carving, sculpture, calligraphy, carpentry, gold, silver and black smithing, bamboo work, weaving and embroidery, pottery, masonry, paper and incense production. The Authentic Crafts bazaar, recently launched opposite the Taj Tashi Hotel by the Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts ( APIC ) is a good place to see different Bhutanese arts and crafts.

Currency

Bhutan’s national currency is called Ngultrum ( 1 Ngultrum = 100 cheltrum ) and was introduced in 1974. It’s denoted by” Nu”. The Ngultrum is pegged with the Indian Rupee.

Architecture in Bhutan

The castle-like Dzongs, with their gently tapering walls, classic lines, large courtyards and beautiful galleries, are among the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Religion has an overwhelming influence in Bhutanese architecture, be it in homes or the countless temples and Chortens all over the nation.

Economy in Bhutan

Agriculture and livestock rearing have traditionally been the mainstay of the Kingdom’s economy. They contribute t0 about 45% of the GNP. 70% of Bhutan’s population live on subsistence farming, growing rice, barley, millet, buckwheat, potatoes, mustard, chili and vegetables. Forestry adds another 15% to the GNP. Today, the export of hydro-power to India, and tourism are the two highest revenue earners.

National Bird

(Corvus corax tibetanus)Locally known as Jarogi, and it was once a capital crime in Bhutan to kill one. Ravens are even known to nest in the walls of the nation’s monasteries and dzongs. Bhutan’s reverence for the Raven is even exhibited on the Royal Raven Crown of the Druk Gyalpo.

National Flower

(meconopsis grandis) which grows at high altitudes of the alpine meadows of Himalayas, is the national flower of Bhutan. Despite its pretty and delicate appearance the blue poppy has the power to endure harsh weather, especially winter, and blooms to it’s full beauty in spring.

Textile Designs in Bhutan

The art of weaving is held in high esteem in Bhutan and it is surprisingly prevalent. Many women, especially in central and eastern Bhutan, weave at home. They do not belong to any particular social group or corporation, but are simple village women who use their spare time to weave clothes for their family, and sell what is left over.

The economic benefits of weaving, however, cannot fully indicate its social significance. The recognition and prestige that goes with being acknowledged as a good weaver is immense. In Bhutan, there are many women who have earned the honour! so intrinsic is weaving to the culture and tradition of Bhutan, that it is a favourite topic of discussion. People constantly compare notes and judge the quality of weaving. The tightness of the ground weave, the delicacy of the supplementary weft or warp patterns, the ingenuity of motifs, colours and combinations. Each of these is discussed and commented upon at length.

Weaving in Bhutan-Unique dimensions

Weaving has special social significance in Bhutan. Apart from weaving for home consumption and supplementing income, fabrics are also woven to be given as gifts. On occasions like promotions and marriages, they are presented in a very specially wrapped or packed. Fabrics are considered assets, which can be traded in the same way as gold, land, or stocks and bonds. Once an economic force, the gift of woven fabrics has today become an important custom. A proud tradition that is prevalent even in the urban parts of Bhutan.

Weaves that capture the imagination to convert into different designing patterns

Bhutanese weavers use cotton, silk or wool to create intricate patterns. But the fabrics they are best known for are Brocade Patterning and the Floating Warp technique. In the former, designs are woven in the ground with either the supplementary weft or the supplementary warp technique. The floating warp technique creates beautiful patterns on the front of the fabric. But such is the skill involved that the reverse bears no evidence of this.

Today, with more advancement in dying techniques, women of Bhutan can produce very imaginative and colorful patterns or design of fabrics. These weaved cloths can be found in every town across the country for the sale.

Raven is the National Bird of Bhutan.The Raven Crown today is the official crown worn by the Kings of Bhutan. The Raven is the national bird of Bhutan. The raven is known locally as Jaroq. At one time it was a capital crime to kill a raven in Bhutan.

Natural Dye Handicraft, Craft Bazar, No. 69 ( Thimphu)

Natural Dye Handicraft is our own company showroom. We sale wide ranges of taxtile made from pure Natural dye, hand woven, which is excelent for gift from Bhutan to your near one when you go back after visit.

“Our company has won the award in quality of excellence twice, in the year 2008 and 2012 in various textile produced by Natural dye handicraft.”

We also sale Gho and Kira of different type at affordable price.

Our Address:

Natural Dye Handi Craft
Craft Bazar, Shop 69.
Thimphu : Bhutan
or call us at +975 17686447 or +975 2 351481
or write to us at dekithimphu@hotmail.com

Bhutan made textile (Paro) (“Deals in Gifts and Souvenir Items”)