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Bhutan: Himalayan Kingdom

Looking for an unusual place for travel? Consider exotic Bhutan! Off the beaten path in Asia, this tiny country nestled in the mountains offers exotic culture, food, and scenery that will engage any traveler.

Bhutan is one of the least explored countries in Asia. Its tourism industry is carefully regulated by its government that does not want tourismís rapid growth to produce detrimental impact on a unique environment and culture. Bhutan has preserved its rich natural environment, vibrant Buddhist culture, and traditional values by limiting the number of people who visit each year. About 6,000 people visit Bhutan as tourists each year.

Bhutan Festivals

Annual festivals are celebrated with great fanfare. The most renowned of these are the Tsechu (religious dance festivals). Punakha and Paro Tsechus are in the spring and Thimphu, Wangdi and Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang Tsechus are in the fall.

Bhutan Festivals

Those who are fortunate to gain entry will view a beautiful yet rugged natural environment. Pristine air, crisp and clean, is a signature of this unspoiled place.

Friendly people with strong spiritual outlooks and the Buddhist influenced culture form the  backbone of Bhutan society. In this place where Buddhist monks settled hundreds of years ago, their festivals and celebrations still form the countryís chief entertainment and are memorable for westerners who visit. Monasteries hundreds of years old perched on mountains thousands of feet high are important historic as well as religious places, respected by all Bhutan citizens. While not all areas or religious establishments are open to tourists, monks welcome visitors.

Exotic Bhutan is often named as the favorite travel spot for experienced travelers. Make plans today to visit.

Radio Shangri-La : what I learned in the happiest kingdom on earth
Lisa Napoli.
New York : Crown Publishers, c2010.
In the tradition of looking East to solve the malaise of Western life, radio journalist Napoli found herself working in a youth-oriented radio station in Bhutan, a small Buddhist monarchy in the Himalayas. She tells the story of her life there and how the people of the country changed her point of view and pulled her from a midlife depression. She also comments on the radical changes going on in the country as it tries to modernize without becoming homogenized. Entertainingly written and free of the cloying self-pity of similar books, this may inspire others to seek out a radically different life. Even those without angst will enjoy the tales of life in Bhutan. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
     
The divine madman : the sublime life and songs of Drukpa Kunley
translated by Keith Dowman and Sonam Paljor ; illustrated by Lee Baarslag.
Clearlake, Calif. : Dawn Horse Press, 1998.
The Divine Madman is the first biography to appear in the West of a Tibetan Crazy Adept "at work". This is the "secret biography" of one of Tibet's foremost saints, the Buddha Drukpa Kunley. Heralded by the people of Tibet as a "Crazy Wise" teacher and enlightened Master, Kunley's outrageous behavior and ribald humor awakened common people and yogis alike from the sleep of religious dogmatism and egoic self-possession. This book is a compilation of anecdotes and songs still passed on to this day in the taverns and temples of Tibet and Bhutan.
     
Bhutan : mountain fortress of the gods
general editors, Christian Schicklgruber & Francoise Pommaret.
Boston : Shambhala ; [New York] : Distributed in the USA by Random House, Inc., 1998.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 265) and index.
     
Land of the tiger : a natural history of the Indian subcontinent
Valmik Thapar.
Berkeley : University of California Press, 1997.
"In Land of the Tiger, Valmik Thapar explores the natural history of this extraordinarily diverse region marked by dramatic extremes of climate and terrain, the only place in the world where both lions and tigers reside." "After a lifetime devoted to the study and conservation of the tiger, Thapar turns to the immense task of documenting the diversity and beauty of the species of plants and animals that share the tiger's domain. He asks how so many species have managed to survive on such a crowded continent, where 20 percent of the world's population exerts an intense pressure on the environment. Thapar links the reverence shown to nature by Eastern religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, to the tremendous diversity that remains on the subcontinent today. Fifty years after Indian independence, however, modern and urban values are beginning to destroy the subcontinent's ecosystems."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
     

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff