Bhutan the tiny Buddhist kingdom sandwiched between Tibet and India, where nature and religion combine together as last Shangri-La. Mountain streams cut through gorges on their way down to warmer valleys and wide marshes in the heart of the kingdom. One distinct landscape drops to the next before finally descending to the jungle and grasslands of the southern plains. To those people who have accustomed to this domain of extremes and have always led their life with the principles of Mahayan Buddhism, Bhutan is a paradise on earth where respect for life, in all its many incarnations, endures like the land itself.
Bhutan's early history is steeped in Buddhist tradition and mythology. Bhutan's medieval and modern history was a time of warlords, feuds, giant fortresses and castles. The visit of Padama Sambhava in 747 AD is the important landmark in the history of the country. The kingdom's recent history begins with a hereditary monarchy that was founded in the 20th century and continued the country's policy of isolationism. It was under the leadership of the third king that Bhutan emerged from its medieval past of serfdom and reclusion. Despite the speed of modernization, Bhutan has maintained a policy of careful, controlled policy of development in order to preserve its national identity. Though known as Bhutan to the outside world, to the Bhutanese, the country is known as Druk Yul, 'land of the thunder dragon'. The people are known as the Drukpas.