Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas between China and India, the small Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan opened itself to the outside world only in 1960s. Hithertho, it had been largely mysterious even to its neighbors but abandoning its self-imposed policy of isolation had it grappling to find a precarious balance between modernization and the preservation of its culture and traditions. It is now making tremendous developments in all sectors, and it also manages to hold onto its unique identity that makes it unlike any other country in the world with a population of just over 0.7 million.
Bhutan was inhabited 4000 years ago, there were archeological evidences indicating settlements in Bhutan dating back to 2000-1500 BC. Bonism was the main religion in Bhutan before the arrival of Buddhism.
Bhutan has a rich culture that has remained intact because of its self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world until five decades ago. Dzongkha, meaning the language of the fort, is the national language of Bhutan. Small though it is, Bhutan has a rich variety of culture. The difficult topography of the country succeeded in keeping each ethnic group separate and vibrant.
Bhutan is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments.
Tourism in Bhutan began in 1974, when the Government of Bhutan, in an effort to raise revenue and to promote the country's unique culture and traditions to the outside world, opened its isolated country to foreigners.
The most important centres for tourism are in Bhutan's capital Thimphu, and in the western city of Paro, near India. Taktshang, a cliff side monastery (Called the "Tiger's Nest" in English) overlooking the Paro Valley, is one of the country's attractions. This temple is incredibly sacred to Buddhists. Housed inside the temple is a cave in which the Buddhist Deity who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, Meditated for 90 days as he battled the demons that inhabited this valley, in order to spread Buddhism.