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Bhutan, also known as Druk Yul (Land of the Thunder Dragon). The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, lies in a sylvan valley, on a hillside on the bank of the river by the same name. One interesting fact about this city is that it is the only world capital without any traffic lights. The city is a storehouse of Bhutanese culture. The Trashi Chhoe Dzong or the fortress of Glorious Religion, and the Memorial Chorten are some of the old sites worth a visit. Geography: Bhutan is a landlocked country. It is about 47,000 kilometres. Bhutan is a land of soaring snowcapped peaks, alpine meadows and densely forested hills and ravines abounding in exotic flora and fauna. From May to August, hills are covered with an awesome variety of flowers decorated with waterfalls and streams gushing in wild abandon .

Culture : The language is Dzongkha. Most Bhutanese men wear the gho, which is a knee-length robe tied at the waist by a cloth belt called a kera. Women wear a kira, a bright, woven ankle-length dress with traditional patterns. It is clipped at one shoulder and tied at the waist. The females also wear a long-sleeved blouse, a toego, under the kira. Bhutan’s national sport is Dha, or archery.

People : About three fourths of the population is Lamaistic Buddhist, followed by Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism. Bhutanese are a mongolid race of people who originally migrated into and settled the country in the 7th Century AD. A nomadic and pastoral society at first, they gradually turned to agriculture in the fertile valleys.

Festivals : There are many religious festivals. The best known festivals are the Tsechus which are held at different times of the year in different locations. Tsechus are celebrated for three to five days with both monks and laymen taking part in the ritual mask dances.

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