The “Land of Thunder”, Bhutan lies in the unspoilt lap of the Himalayas, isolated from mainland Asia by high mountains. This amazing seclusion and policies aimed at preserving the deep traditions and unique culture has resulted in a country which seems far away from the effects of time and modernity.
In this era, where almost every country is judged on the basis of their GDP, Bhutan seems to be unfazed by the gruelling concept and instead has its own, path breaking policy known as Gross National Happiness (GNH), a mechanism aimed at checking the happiness and satisfaction of its very simple, family oriented citizens.
Throughout the country, Buddhist pagodas and monasteries can be found preaching peace and unanimity with the nature. A traditional monarchy has self-abdicated in favour of installing democracy without any protest. A popular government is now ushering development in Bhutan at the same time maintaining its unique culture and charm. Peace, sustainable development and true happiness is evident in the country, the very moment you step onto this land.
HolidayMe presents the key features of this ever-smiling and peaceful country through these stunning collection of images.
Taktshang Goemba Monastery
Perched atop a cliff side on a rocky mountain, the Taktshang Goemba Monastery, popularly known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery is an iconic symbol and the country’s most photographed landmark. Credited as the meditation place of Guru Padmasambhava, a highly revered tutelary deity of the Bhutanese people.
Prayer flags with mantras dominate the landscape of the country. Considered as holy and evil warding, prayer flags are also meant to usher good positive energy, peace and prosperity all around.
Also known as “The Palace of Great Happiness”, it’s the administrative centre of the Punakha district of the country. Built in a traditional architectural-style, this beautiful palace is located at the confluence of Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers.
Another key feature of Bhutan’s landscape is terrace farming. Hardworking Bhutanese people have tilled the hilly valleys using traditional methods of ploughing and farming techniques.
Peace of Mind
Most Bhutanese believe in having peace of mind, inner satisfaction and simple, easy way of life. Life is not complicated in the country.
Bonding with Nature
Surrounded by high mountains and difficult terrain, has led to deeper relationship of Bhutanese people with the nature. Yaks and horses forms a key mode of transport still in the 21st century in the country.
The country’s unique culture, traditions and folklore are best displayed during its amazing function including the renowned Thimpu Tshechu, Druk Wangyel Festival, Paro Tshechu, Pema Gatshel Tsechu and many more.
Undisturbed ecology and a policy of sustainable development and ecological conservation has allowed several endangered animals to thrive peacefully including the shy Red Panda bear.
Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan
Off late, television, internet and contemporary facilities are being introduced in Thimpu. Though, care is being taken to maintain the city’s old heritage and antiquated charm.
Paro Valley is one of the tourism magnets of the country, located in the Western parts, and its renowned for its traditional houses dotting the valleys filled with scenic terraced farming landscapes.
Just like the entire country, Bhutanese food is simple and delicious. High altitude plays a key factor in the evolution of Bhutanese food. Dairy products have led to the concept of butter milk, a high energy drink suitable for the high altitude climate and use of chillies to create warmth and flavours along with locally produced vegetables.
The King and the Queen
Bhutan’s king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is a highly popular figure in the country. He has earned doctorates in law, public policy, environment and natural resources and is credited with taking the country towards democracy. Queen Jetsun Pema is a fashion icon in the country and is also the face of several environmental protection agencies.
Archery, the national obsession.
Archery is the national sport and is an obsession among the country’s youth as well as elders. Several archery completions are held throughout the country, both traditional as well as amateur. Apart from archery, football, futsal and cricket are also steadily gaining popularity.