National Symbols of Bhutan
Bhutan popularly known as land of thunder dragon is the only Himalayan kingdom in which Tibetan Buddhism is the state religion and is located in between two giant neighbouring countries ie, India towards south and east and Tibet(China) towards north. Bhutan approximately the size of Switerland, covers an area of 47,000 square kilimeters and has the population less than 800,000 inhabitants. The altitude of the country ranges from 300m on the Indian frontier to 7,300m on the Tibet(China) border.
» National Flag: The upper yellow half signifies the secular power and authority of the king while the lower saffron-orange symbolizes the practice of religion and the power of Buddhism, manifested in the tradition of Drukpa Kagyu. The dragon signifies the name and the purity of the country while the jewels in its jeweled claws stand for the wealth and perfection of the country.
» National Language: Dzongkha
» Time: 6 hours ahead of GMT
» Currency: Ngultrum (value equal to Indian Rupee)
» National Animal:The national animal is the Takin (Burdorcastaxicolor) that is associated with religious history and mythology.
It is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. It lives in groups and is found above 4000 meters on the north-western and far north eastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboo. The adult Takin can weigh over 200 kgs.
» National Emblem:There is a jewel on all sides with two dragons on the vertical sides. The thunderbolts represent the harmony between secular and religious power while the lotus symbolizes purity. The jewel signifies the sovereign power while the dragons (male and female) represent the name of the country DrukYul or the Land of the Dragon.
» National Bird: The national bird is the raven.
It adorns the royal crown. The raven represents the deity Gonpo Jarodongchen (raven headed Mahakala), one of the chief guardian deities of Bhutan.
» National Flower: The national flower is the Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Grandis).
It is a delicate blue or purple tinged blossom with a white filament. It grows to a height of 1 meter, and is found above the tree line (3500-4500 meters) on rocky mountain terrain. It was discovered in 1933 by a British Botanist, George Sherriff in a remote part of Sakteng in eastern Bhutan.
» National Tree: The national tree is the cypress (Cupressustorolusa).
Cypresses are found in abundance and one may notice large cypresses near temples and monasteries. This tree is found in the temperate climate zone, between 1800 and 3500 meters. Its capacity to survive on rugged harsh terrain is compared to bravery and simplicity.
» National Game: The national sport is the Archery (Dha). The bow and arrow play a significant role in many Bhutanese myths and legends; images of the gods holding a bow and arrows are considered especially favorable.
Archery was declared the national sport in 1971 when Bhutan became a member of the United Nations. Bhutan also maintains an Olympic archery team. Archery tournaments and competitions are held throughout the country. Archery is played during religious and secular public holidays in Bhutan, local festivals (tsechu), between public ministries and departments, and between the dzongkhag and the regional teams.
» National Dress: Bhutanese men wear gho, which are longish robes tied around the waist with a belt known as kera. The Bhutanese women wear an ankle-length dress known as kira, which is usually made up of fine hand-woven fabric with traditional patterns. The women wear a shirt inside called wonju and a coat on top of the kira called tego.
» Climate: The country has three very distinct climate zones; the sub-tropical, temperate, and alpine arctic zones and four distinct seasons. These climate variations coupled with huge changes in altitude varying from 1,000 feet in the south to 17,000 feet in the north account for the rich diversity of flora and fauna, some of them found only in Bhutan. Bhutan ranks amongst the top ten percent of highest species density in the world on a species richness per unit area.