National Symbol

National Flag

The national flag of Bhutan is one of the national symbols of Bhutan which in particular represents country’s sovereignty and identity. The flag is based upon the tradition of Drukpa lineage of Tibetan lineage. It is divided diagonally and the upper yellow part of the flag represents the king’s secular power and fruitful action in both religious and state affairs. The lower orange part represents the spiritual power and religious practice of Buddhist religion. The flag has a white dragon in the centre which is snarling and clutching jewels in claws which represents prosperity, wealth and perfection. 

The Bhutanese believe that thunder is actually the voices of the Thunder roaring. Thus, the dragon in the centre of the flag or “Druk” has deep association of the country itself. The nation’s flag was officially approved in 1965.

National Emblem

Bhutan’s national emblem with a double diamond thunderbolt (Dorji) placed above a lotus, is framed by two dragons and enclosed by a jewel. The thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power while the lotus symbolizes purity, and sovereign power is expressed by the jewel. The male and female dragons represent Bhutan’s name, being proclaimed with their great voice of thunder (Druk Yul). The national emblem is contained in a circle.

National Language

Dzongkha, meaning the language of the fort, is the national language of Bhutan. The nation is accounted for its multi-lingual society. There are as many as 19 different languages and dialects spoken in the country. The national language is more dominant in the part of western Bhutan. 

National Flower, Tree and Bird

The national flower blue poppy, is one of the most beautiful and rare flower in the country and found in the higher altitudes around 3000 to 4000 meter above sea level while the Himalayan cypress is the country’s national tree, often associated with religious places. It is usually found in the temperate zone between and elevation of 1800 to 3500 meters. To the Bhutanese, its ability to survive on the rugged terrain represents bravery and simplicity. 

The National bird of Bhutan is the raven, representing Gonpo Jaro Donchen (Mahakala), one of Bhutan’s chief guardian deities. It is the most prominent component of the royal crown.

National Animal

The Takin, an extremely endangered cow and a goat like mammal, is the only kingdom’s national animal. It is usually habitats in steep and thick woods at an altitude of around 4,000 meters. The legend has it that this rare and very unique animal was created by the 15th century Buddhist saint, Drukpa Kunley popularly known as the ‘Divine Madman.’ 

National Game

Archery is the national game of Bhutan. It was declared the national sport in 1971 when Bhutan became the member of the United Nations. Teams of archers use bamboo bow and a pair of arrows, shooting at wooden targets at a distance of 135 to 140 meters.  The bow and arrow plays a significant role in many Bhutanese myths and legends. Over time the traditional bow made from bamboo has been replaced by compound bows. However, in most part of rural Bhutan, community still practice in traditional way. 

 Each village has its’ own archery range and the tournaments will take place all through the year on local, inter-village and national level. It is also played during religious celebrations and local festivals. The wooden targets are embellished with bright colourful patterns. Although the major role is reserved for the archers, their supporters are just as important, encouraging them strongly and trying to off the opposition with a lot of noise, supported by the ara (alcohol) which flows from dusk until dawn, keeping the spirits high. 


In the 12th century, Dzongs were introduced in Bhutan. Dzongs’ architecture are the distinctive type of fortresses found across our country. The architecture is enormous in style, towering external walls surrounding courtyards, temples, administrative offices and monks’ accommodation. The Dzongs are skilfully designed and it contains many religious relics and archaic treasures.
Dzongs, nowadays have become a symbol of security and stability, serving as headquarters for the civil and monastic administration of each district. 

Monasteries and Chortens (stupas)

The monasteries or chortens in Bhutan are known as Gompas or Goenpas which serves as a site for religious, social and cultural purposes. Chorten literally means “ Seat of Faith” and Buddhist often call such monuments, the mind of “Buddha”. The chorten monuments are perhaps the most omnipresent religious architecture of Bhutan. As a representation of the Buddha’s mind or spirit, the chorten is also one of the most important shrines in the Buddhist tradition. Bhutan is home of thousands of chortens which signifies the people’s deep faith.

More than 2,000 monasteries can be found in Bhutan which depicts the dedication towards religion and it plays a vital role in every single citizen of Bhutan. Most of the monasteries can be found far away from the crowded areas. One can find a golden pinnacle or ‘Sertog’ on the top of the monastery or chorten. The monasteries spiritually serve the communities residing at its vicinity. 

Even today many new chortens are built. There are eight different forms or styles of chortens. Bhutan’s most important chorten is the National Memorial Chorten. This chorten was built in the memory and dedication of late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The chorten is a large white structure crowned with a golden spire.

Traditional Dress

Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world. The country emphasize on the promotion and preservation of its unique culture and tradition which is also one of the pillars of Gross National Happiness (National philosophy of Bhutan). Bhutan’s culture is very much alive and portrays in everything, including the traditional dress that people have been wearing for centuries. It is traditionally hand woven dress made from Bhutanese textiles in a variety of colourful patterns worn on all formal occasions including working in the office by the men, women and the children. 

All men wear gho, a long robe which is attuned till the length of knee. It is tied tightly around the waist with a woven belt known as kera which will hold the gho and the large pouch is formed. In the olden days this enormous pouch was used to carry the bowl, money and edible things. Along with gho a beautiful embellished leather boot is worn which makes every man look decent and gentle.  Women wear a long length dress called a Kira which is rectangular piece of cloth which is bright and beautiful that wraps around the body. Under the kira, woman wear a wonju (blouse) which is held in place over the shoulder with a koma (silver buckle). Decorations, colours and texture determine the woman’s social status and class. Usually over the dress a toego (open jacket) is worn. The outfit is completed by necklaces made from turquoise, corals, pearls and the precious ‘dzi’ agate eye stone.