BHUTAN, on the N.E. of British India, is situated between lat. 26° 30' and 28° N., and long. 88° 45' to 92° 25' E., and occupies from the southern declivities of the great central ridge of the Him alaya mountains to the foot of the inferior heights which form a talus at their base, and constitute the natural northern boundary of the Assam valley eastwards from the Sikkim to where the Brahma putra passes through the mountains. Bhutan is one of the long narrow states lying upon the southern slopes of the Himalaya ; the territory consists of a number of rough transverse chains of hills at right angles to the parent range, which forms the backbone of Asia, with precipitous valleys and glens, at the bottom of each of which runs a mountain stream, and the overlooking mountains are covered with snow in June and July.
In W. Bhutan, the mountain ranges are lofty and rugged, and the river courses very deep and generally At Panaka, the Pachu is only 3700 feet above the sea. The mountain mass, however, which descends from the axis of the lirnals.ya, to separate the Monas from the Saban siri, attains an elevation of at least 24,000 feet, as far south as latitude 28°. Three peaks upon this are visible from the Khassya mountains, and spurs descending from it were ascended to an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet by Mr. Booth in 1849, in a district north of Bishnath, in Upper Assam, which is inhabited by the Dophla race.
Bhutan is from Bhutant, the end of Bhot. Its capital is Tassisudon. The dominion is known to the Tibetans by several names,—Lho-pa-to, Lho mon-k'ha-zhi, and Lho-bruk-pc-yul, or simply Lho, the south. Lho-pa therefore means a native of Bhutan, and this is the name by which the Bhutanese call themselves ; but they are also known as the Duk-pa and the Bruk-pa. Duk means the sect of Lamaism prevalent, and ba or pa, of or belonging to. The Hindu shastras or sacred writings call the Bhutanese Pla-va, the Lepcha call them Pm, Dharma raja is the title of the spiritual head of Bhutan, and lie is supposed to be an incarnation of Buddha.
Bhotia is the Sanskrit, and Tibetan the Anglo Persian, !Janie of the people who call themselves Bod-pa or native of Hod. The Newer of Nepal proper call the cis•nivean Bhotia, those south of the snows, by the name of Palu-sen, and the trans-nivean, those living beyond the snows, Tha son. The Chinese call the Mongol Tha-tha. 13hotia generally occupy Cachar, though some families are planted in the lower lands.
The population has eight principal and a few minor classes, all pure Mongolian, and in addition there are the who live in tents and booths, and a vast number of Assamese and Bengali slaves. They are Buddhist, but eat the flesh of goats. sheep, and cattle. The poor people use wheat and barley. All classes use intoxicating liquors. The favourite drink is choug, prepared from wheat, barley, or rice ; it has an agreeably acid taste.
The Lhopa is the dominant race, but they have a tradition that before they entered it, Bhutan, or at least the eastern part of it, was occupied by the Koch'h. The Lhopa are ag.ricul tural and industrious, employing artificial irrigation on their patches of soil in the valleys. They are also distillers, and make paper from the bark of the Diah tree. The Lhopa are tall, many being more than 6 feet high, and fairer than the people of the south of Europe. Hair black ; eye small, black, with pointed corners, as if artificially stretched ; eyebrow slightly shaded ; eyelashes scarce ; below the eyes, the face is broadest, and rather flat, but narrow from the cheek-bones to the chin ; this character of the countenance being more developed in the charac teristic Chinese farther east, to whose features this is the first approach. Their skins are remark ably smooth, and most of them arrive at a very advanced age before they can boast even the earliest rudiments of a beard ; they cultivate whiskers, but the best they produce are of a scanty straggling growth.