Select Language    
         +91 124 4636 800        +44 207 1830061        +1 866 3747068        +33 1 47685692        +61 2 90372758        +46 8 40309925        +34 93 1845746
Culture of Bhutan ...

Culture in Bhutan is one of the oldest, most carefully guarded and well preserved in the world. Bhutan has relied on its geographic isolation to protect itself from outside cultural influences. Cradled in the folds of the Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by India to the south and China to the north. Bhutan has successfully preserved many aspects of a culture which dates directly back to the mid-17th century.

All Bhutanese art-dance, drama and music-is steeped in Buddhism. The paintings are produced for religious purposes only; festivals are not quaint revivals, but living manifestations of a national faith; and almost all art, music and dance represents the struggle between good and evil. These traditions can be seen in all their glory at Bhutan's spectacular religious festivals called Tsechus. All the citizens of Bhutan, whether Government officials or the common public, wear the national dress at all times in public. The national dress for men is called a Gho, which is long robe tied at the waist and pouched over the belt to form a pocket. Government senior officials wear a sword on ceremonial occasions. Women, who enjoy equal rights with men and play an active part in national affairs, wear an ankle-length robe called Kira, which is tied at the waist with a wide sash and fastened at the shoulders with silver broaches.

Bhutanese culture derives from ancient Tibetan culture. Dzongkha and Sharchop, the principal Bhutanese languages, are closely related to Tibetan, and Bhutanese monks read and write the ancient variant of the Tibetan language known as chhokey. Bhutanese are physically similar to the Tibetans but history does not record when they crossed over the Himalayas and settled in the south-draining valleys of Bhutan. Both Tibetans and Bhutanese revere the tantric Guru Padmasambhava the founder of Himalayan Buddhism in the 8th century.

The unity of the Bhutanese people and independence of the country is under control of the state religion, Buddhism. There is very limited religious freedom, as government and social pressure do not allow for public expressions of other faiths. Buddhism is followed by 70% of the population, while Hinduism is practiced by 25%. The rest are either Muslims or Christians.

The largest and most colourful festivals take place at Bhutan's dzongs and monasteries once a year, especially in honour of Guru Rimpoche. They are normally celebrated in spring and autumn. Tsechus consist of up to five days of spectacular pageantry, masked dances and religious allegorical plays that have remained unchanged for centuries. Besides being a vital living festival and an important medium of Buddhist teaching, tsechus are huge social gatherings. Bhutanese revel and exult together, dressed in their finest clothes and jewellery, in a welcoming ambiance where humor and devotion go hand in hand. For guests, the tsechu provides an ideal opportunity to appreciate the essence of the Bhutanese character.

Our most visited sites

Home    History    About Us    Culture   Cuisines    City Guide    Map    Awards    General Information    Activities    Suggested Programmes    Contact Us    Disclaimer    Site Map   
Palace on Wheels  Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  Golden Chariot  Novelty Of Nepal  Wildlife of india  Service Apartment in Gurgaon    Mesmerising Maldives    Srilanka Stupendous   
The Pearls of India    Baffling Bangladesh    Tantalising Tibet     Culture Tour of India