Bhutan Rising: Democracy from Scratch

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…

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National Geographic in Bhutan: Dochula Pass

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…

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Along Bhutan’s River Valleys to Find Black-Necked Cranes

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…

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National Geographic in Bhutan: Buddha Dordenma Statue

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…

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Queen of Bhutan Celebrates National Geographic’s Anniversary Coverage

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,…

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Conversation with Bhutan’s Young “Dragon King”

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…

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Bhutan: a Frontier for Culture, Biodiversity, and Adventure

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…

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