Bhutan is a land of respite in a world driven by material pursuit and economic gains. The tiny Himalayan nation wedged between China and India can be described as the ultimate travel destination where nature has remained intact and where money is secondary to happiness.
Bhutan is often considered as one of the youngest democratic country when it peacefully transited to a constitutional monarchy through a Royal Command in 2008. The country was ruled by the Wangchuck dynasty since 1907.
Perched in the Himalayas, Bhutan has one of the highest unclimbed mountain peaks in the world. The mountains that feed the rivers has been tapped to generate electricity that earn the major portion of the government’s revenue.
But the main thrust of governance has been in providing happiness to the people rather than economic growth. Gross National Happiness, propounded by the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck remains central to any government policies, plans and programs.
As the mighty Himalayan range descends towards the central and the southern region of the country, one can behold picturesque river valleys, lush green hills and meadows and clean fresh rivers and streams.
72 percent of Bhutan’s land area is covered by natural forest. Bhutan’s lush green forest has thousands of species of birds, animals, plants and flowers. A major treat for travellers to Bhutan has been the experience of breathing unpolluted and clean fresh air.
The valleys and hilltops are dotted with ancient monasteries and forts, known as dzongs that has fascinated travellers for many years. Many forts and temples are precariously located on cliffs and the summit of hills.
Bhutan’s culture has remained vibrant throughout history. Preservation of culture has been identified as an important pillar that supports the realization of gross national happiness.
Bhutanese men wear the traditional dress called Gho that closely resemble the Scottish kilt and women wear Kira, an ankle length wraparound skirt. All office goers wear the traditional dress.