Today Bhutan has become synonymous with ‘happiness’ to most foreigners who have been to and know about the country.
The reason lies in the fact that this small Himalayan kingdom aspires to become a role model to the rest of the world. It does so by believing the ultimate aim of a human life is to live in the abundance of happiness. Bhutan rejects the conventional belief that economic gain alone brings about happiness.
However, the country does not undermine the importance of economic growth. What it seeks is a fine balance between material wealth and spiritual prosperity.
Thus Bhutan firmly believes that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product.”
The ideals of GNH are very much part of Bhutan’s laws and policies including its economic, environment, and cultural aspects.
Apart from this interesting development philosophy of GNH, there are several other attributes that make the country interesting to visit.
Bhutan’s culture and traditions have been the hallmark of very existence of the country. In the fast changing world the country prioritizes to preserve its unique cultural identity.
One of the recent fascinating developments the country saw was its transition to parliamentary democracy from monarchy. The people were forced to accept the new polity by the King.
Amid resistance from the people the King said a king is chosen by birth not by merit and the future of the Bhutanese people lies in democracy.
The country then embraced democracy following its first ever elections in early 2008. The fourth King, who is known as the father of democracy, voluntarily abdicated the Throne a year before the elections.
Though a tiny nation sandwiched between the two rising giants – China in the north and India in the south – Bhutan takes it own cautious steps to determine its own future. The country does not believe in economic emulation.
Bhutan’s less than 0.7 million population is highly scattered. The largest city, Thimphu, is a home to less than 0.1 million people. Most of them are government and corporate employees and business players. The rest of the population lives in far-flung satellite towns and villages.
More than 72% of the country’s total area is under verdant forest cover with rich flora and fauna. And scattered settlements remain adorned with aesthetic temples, monasteries, and fluttering prayer flags.
Bhutan has a lot of fascinating stories to tell about its myths, legends and civilization. And the country’s inherent beauty where the ancient and modern cultures coexist in complete harmony is what makes it interesting to experience.
Welcome to Bhutan and take back the memories that you will cherish!