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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Bhutan

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

We feature a handpicked selection of travel guides, maps, literature, books on art, nature and culture, all designed to help you get more out of your travels to Bhutan. Order an essential package, and we'll ship any additional items for free.

Essential Reading

Item EXBHU76. Buy these 5 items as a set for $123 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Raven Crown

The Raven Crown

by Michael Aris

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER
  • 160 PAGES

Aris chronicles the rise of the Wangchuk dynasty in this beautifully illustrated history of the kingdom and its 20th-century monarchy, featuring 106 rare photographs. (BHU02, $60.00)

So Close to Heaven, The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

So Close to Heaven, The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas

by Barbara Crossette

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 297 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Asia correspondent for the New York Times Crossette portrays Bhutan and neighboring Ladakh and Sikkim as strongholds of Tantric Buddhism in an increasingly homogenized world. (NPL04, $16.95)

What Makes You Not a Buddhist

What Makes You Not a Buddhist

by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

  • RELIGION
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

Born in Bhutan in 1961, a Tibetan lama and filmmaker (Travellers and Magicians), Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche gives a decidedly modern take on dharma, happiness, suffering and enlightenment in this engaging primer. (TBT96, $15.95)

Lonely Planet Bhutan

Lonely Planet Bhutan

by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A compact travel guide to Bhutan with a good overview of culture, history and nature, sketch maps, a section of color photographs and plenty of practical detail on sightseeing and treks. (BHU11, $29.99)

Bhutan & Northern India Map

Bhutan & Northern India Map

by ITMB

  • 2012
  • MAP

A double-sided traveler's map at an excellent scale of 1:345,000 with a larger scale map of Northern India and Bhutan on the reverse. (BHU06, $12.95)

 
India Northeast Adventure Map

India Northeast Adventure Map


by National Geographic Society

  • 2012
  • MAP

The front side of the map covers the far northeastern corner of India, from its border with China and Bhutan to the north; Myanmar (Burma) to the east; and Bangladesh to the south at a scale of 1:1,400.000. (IDA668, $11.95)

Bhutan, A Trekker's Guide

Bhutan, A Trekker's Guide


by Bart Jordans

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 332 PAGES

A compact, practical guide to 27 treks and walks throughout the mountain kingdom with color photographs and detailed sketch maps throughout. (BHU23, $24.95)

Bradt Bhutan

Bradt Bhutan


by Erin Levi

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES
  • COMING IN NOVEMBER

A compact guide to Bhutan, its history, wildlife, culture and attractions. With maps, town plans and lots of practical travel information. (BHU44, $27.99)

Odyssey Guide Bhutan

Odyssey Guide Bhutan


by Francoise Pommaret

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 326 PAGES

An authoritative overview of the kingdom, enhanced by color photographs, well-chosen literary excerpts and many maps, this guide by Bhutan expert and ethnographer Pommaret is exceptionally good. With a general introduction to the history, geography, economy, flora and fauna, festivals and the arts. (BHU03, $23.95)

Bhutan, The Land of Serenity

Bhutan, The Land of Serenity


by Matthieu Ricard

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 232 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

A Buddhist monk, photographer and French interpreter for the Dalai Lama, Ricard draws on his time in Bhutan over the last 25 years for this intimate portrait. With illuminating chapters on the remarkable Khyentse Rinpoche, sacred art, architecture, dancing monks and ceremonies. (BHU34, $19.95)

Fortress Monasteries of the Himalayas

Fortress Monasteries of the Himalayas


by Peter Harrison

  • RELIGION
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 64 PAGES

This slim book recreates the dramatic and colorful fortifications of Tibet, Ladakh, Nepal and Bhutan, recounting their history through foreign incursions, religious conflicts and civil wars to the Tibetan uprising and flight of the Dalai Lama from Potala Palace in 1959. (HML117, $18.95)

Himalaya, Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge, and Hope on the Roof of the World

Himalaya, Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge, and Hope on the Roof of the World


by Broughton Coburn | Richard C. Blum | Erica Stone

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

A beautifully photographed overview of the geology, history and people of the Himalayas. (HML78, $35.00)

Material World

Material World


by Paul Kennedy | Charles C. Mann | Peter Menzel

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 255 PAGES

An inspired idea, this book documents 30 families around the world with all their possessions artfully arrayed around them. (GEN02, $25.00)

The Blessings of Bhutan

The Blessings of Bhutan


by Russ and Blyth Carpenter

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Head-over-heels in love with Bhutan, the Carpenters introduce their adopted home, its people, customs, religion and history. (BHU16, $26.99)

The History of Bhutan

The History of Bhutan


by Karma Phuntsho

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 661 PAGES
  • COMING IN SEPTEMBER

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive history of Bhutan, a very young nation and the happiest country in Asia. (BHU43, $50.00)

From the Land of the Thunder Dragon

From the Land of the Thunder Dragon


by Susan S. Bean | Diana K. Myers

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

This magnificent survey, featuring 130 color photographs, illuminates with authority the huge cultural significance of weaving in Bhutan. With contributions by Michael Aris, Francoise Pommaret, Susan Bean and principal author Diana Myers, it's the definitive book on the subject, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum. (BHU01, $50.00)

Beyond the Sky and the Earth

Beyond the Sky and the Earth


by Jamie Zeppa

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 303 PAGES

Zeppa's memoir of her time as a teacher in a remote Bhutanese village shows her growing love and commitment to the people and culture. (BHU08, $16.00)

Married to Bhutan

Married to Bhutan


by Linda Leaming

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Enraptured by the customs, land and people of Bhutan, where she has lived and worked for ten years, Leaming writes with humor and candor about her often-bumpy cultural immersion, her romance with a Buddhist artist and her unexpected path to happiness. (BHU36, $14.95)

Radio Shangri-La

Radio Shangri-La


by Lisa Napoli

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Napoli's memoir of her time working on a fledgling Bhutanese radio station. She writes with frankness and clarity about the contradictions, poverty and reality of much mythologized Bhutan. (BHU35, $15.00)

Travellers and Magicians

Travellers and Magicians


by Khyentse Norbu

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • DVD

The first feature shot on location in Bhutan, this film, directed by a respected lama, follows a young official on his odyssey across the country. Along the way he is joined by a mischievous monk, an elderly peddler and an old man with his daughter. (BHU22, $29.99)

Birds of India

Birds of India


by Richard Grimmett | Carol Inskipp | Tim Inskipp

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference. (FG43, $39.50)

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