Bhutan's National Animal: Takin

Bhutan’s national Animal is the Takin. This animal was declared as the national animal of Bhutan by the royal family in 25th of November 1985. The effects of Bhutan’s religion and mythology is very great in this declaration. According to a legend between the years of 1455-1529 one of the leading figures in the community was a man named Lama Drukpa Kuenly and those who followed him asked him to perform a miracle. Lama Drukpa wanted a cow and a goat for lunch from the public. He stripped off their meat and placed the head of the goat on the cow’s body. The Takin came to life at that moment and ran to the open grass fields. This is the story our tour guide told us.

So we wanted to see the famous Takins for ourselves and headed to the mini zoo at the Thimphu. The zoo was rather small and it had Takins in it. Also they reserved a small spot for the roe deers. Apparently the locals call this zoo “JİGME Porji Zoo” among themselves.

The head of the Takins look just like a goat, while it has the body of a cow. With it’s wide legs it weighs 350k in weight and is about 170-200 cm in height. It is an animal that can survive above 4.500 meters in the Himalayas. This animal can also be found in Burma, Nepal and Myanmar.

After the zoo we headed to a cloth atelier. We saw the cloth and silk straps being painted with root paint. It is handcrafted and requires a lot of effort. So the prices are very high... Generally even though hand crafter works are cheaper in Asia, Bhutan is definitely beyond this generalisation. The hand crafted silks that are of approximately 1 meter in height start from 800 american dollars. We headed for lunch after grabbing a small souvenir from here.

The food was very delicious in Bhutan and the restaurants were mostly clean and orderly.  They have a cuisine heavily inspired from Indian, Tibetian and Chinese cuisines. You can find both spicy and sweet-sour tasting food. They ask if you want tea prior and after the serving of the meal. I recommend drinking Jasmin tea after the meal.

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NURHAN YILMAZ

1951 İstanbul doğumluyum. Yıl içinde dönüşümlü olarak Sinop, Bodrum ve İstanbul’da yaşamaktayım.Küçük yaşlarda babamın mesleği gereği, Türkiye’nin pek çok farklı şehirlerinde yaşadım.