Bhutan

Bhutan: a hotspot of wild cat diversity Did you know that Bhutan is a hotspot of wild cat diversity? It is home to 11 species of wild cats which is about 30% of all wild cat species found in the world. Considering that Bhutan only covers .03% of the earth’s surface, that number seems even...

We are settling into one of our many nights in the forests of Umling, to the western part of Royal Manas National Park. The night is devoid of any human voices, and all we could hear is the river gushing below, and the wind blowing in the trees. There is only the light of the...

Childhood Stories This story is one I remember vividly from my childhood. I must have been about eight or nine years old then. One winter afternoon, I picked up some rocks from the side of the road and carried them in my hemchu (large pouch in Bhutanese traditional dress) as I walked across the Wangdue Bridge....

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan Main text  © Jill Schwartz & Sarah Wade. Edited from its original appearance in the WWF Magazine. Tucked between the...

‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ Completes First Wild Tiger Survey   By the World Wildlife Fund Bhutan is home to an amazing 103 wild tigers—an increase from a previous estimate of 75 that was not based on actual field surveys—according to the country’s first-ever tiger survey released on Global Tiger Day [July 29]. Conducted entirely...

DOCHULA PASS, Bhutan–High on top of a mountain pass on the road from Thimphu to Punaka, overlooking the Himalayas, is a concentration of 108 chortens (stupas) built in memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India. The Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, commissioned the monument after King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was victorious in...

PARO, Bhutan–It’s a steep climb to Taktsang, a monastery hugging the side of a rocky cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro valley in Bhutan. But the going is fairly easy if taken slowly, for the path is well constructed and maintained and the mountain air is fresh and cool. It requires ascending a thousand steps or more, with...

On his final field inspection with the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), geographer Keith Clarke writes about his experience in Bhutan and reflects on his eight-year term with CRE. National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell is leading the CRE on a tour of the Himalayan country to meet with grantees, listen to...

THIMPHU, Bhutan–Before leaving the Bhutanese capital city today, the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration visited what will soon be the largest sitting statue of Buddha. Still under construction, the Buddha Dordenma Statue sits atop a prayer-flag-festooned forested hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. According to the website of the National Tourism Organization of Bhutan: “This massive statue...

THIMPHU, Bhutan–Dr. Peter Raven, Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, reflects on a poem he read at an event to celebrate a hundred years of National Geographic coverage of Bhutan. I was moved to include Mary Oliver’s poem in the remarks I made for...

THIMPHU, Bhutan–Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck addressed a celebration of one hundred years of coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan by National Geographic tonight. The event was hosted at the Taj Tashi Hotel, where the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE) is lodging in the mountain kingdom’s capital. Led by National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell,...

THIMPHU, Bhutan–King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is a young ruler connected deeply with the digital universe while remaining anchored in the teaching and wisdom handed down through generations. He surfs the Web to gauge the mood of the people, following the conversations of his subjects and engaging them through social media. He has his own Facebook page, and he knows...

As the whole nation of Bhutan kicks off a year-long celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of the revered monarch, the fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (who turns 60 on November 11, 2015), there are ample reasons to celebrate his visionary leadership and statesmanship. He was a champion of environmental conservation,...

The snow leopard, like most of the world’s big cats, survives by keeping a low profile. Yet its secretive nature and penchant for living among some of the steepest, remotest mountain ranges on the planet have not saved the cat from human intrusions throughout most of its range. First listed as globally endangered in 1972,...

About a century ago, John Claude White, political officer of the British Empire posted in Sikkim, unveiled Bhutan to most Westerners for the first time through an elaborate account of his visit to this mysterious kingdom in a National Geographic magazine article in 1914. Readers were treated to images of fortresses, monasteries, villages, and people...