Trongsa Dzong

Why Visit Bhutan

There are numerous reasons for any foreign nationals to visit Bhutan besides its being a sovereign nation, ruled by the dynamic and visionary Kings. It might sound like a fairy tale to many, that a country – secluded in the virgin woods, locked by land at all fronts, holding up its identity as a nation, ruled by the kings and the kings loved dedicatedly by their humble and loyal subjects. To the present day, our King is widely known as the people’s king, a servant leader. He not only cooks for his subjects occasionally. He walks into the flood waters, being the first to rescue his people in trouble.

Here are some points that are commonly known to many foreigners, but might be very brand new information to the rest, in regards to why visit Bhutan.

why visit bhutan
Why Visit Bhutan – Unique Culture & Tradition

Bhutan is a country with unique culture and tradition

Initially, it can be found in the histories in the monasteries, written in ‘Choekye’, a religiously scholar script, Bhutan had a practice of ‘Bon’ religion alike many other nations in the past. Evidenced scripts say that Guru Rinpoche, a learned Buddhist teacher visited Bhutan on the invitation of a Bhutanese King in Bumthang during eighth century. He taught the local people about the teachings of Buddhism as well subdued the demons and evil spirits that bothered the lives of the people. After him many Buddhist scholars came and taught Buddhism to the Bhutanese.

However, it was only after Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who came to Bhutan in the seventeenth century, the country started its unification. And the art of Buddhism was practiced as a religion since then. He is the father of the unique Culture and tradition that Bhutan has today. The ceremonial conducts and the crafting, painting, architecture and mask dances have their deep-rooted meanings and reasons. To high light something on the architecture, the skilled Bhutanese builders do not use a single nail to put the different pieces of constructions together. The whole structure of the fortresses, ‘Dzongs’ standing for centuries hardly has any nails. If a nail is seen, then it is only for the purpose of replacing wood shingles with the CGI sheets for the roof. 

Annually celebrated Tshechu, in all the parts of the country is the most important occasion. It’s believed that only by witnessing the dances, our evil deeds, sins, and bad conducts are cleansed and forgiven. The three-day Tshechu has the order of presentation of the dances. It ends with the act played by the monks or other skilled people in the locality. It represents the results of our bad deeds and good deeds in the afterlife. 

‘Atsara’, Joker – a common figure in the Tshechu, with a funny red mask, usually holding a wooden phallus is no ordinary figure. Even many Bhutanese do not understand the actual role. The name ‘Atsara’ is derived from the word ‘Acharya’. In fact, Atsara is a highly skilled dancer, who helps the mask dancers remember the steps if they ever forget the sync. He also is responsible to correct the attires if it falls lose or gets stuck somewhere in the process of dancing. The priceless experience of these culture and tradition is also a reason why many people visit Bhutan.

Belief in the blissful concept of Gross National Happiness.

Why Visit Bhutan - Gross National Happiness
Why Visit Bhutan – Gross National Happiness

In the recent years Bhutan has been known to the outside world as the Land of Happiness. The concept of taking care of the happiness of the people engrained in the brains of our fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. His vision of seeing his subjects happy and contended came true with the gift of GNH – Gross National Happiness. He prioritized Gross National Happiness over Gross Domestic Product. The philosophy is beyond earth. It is sustained by four large pillars. They are – Good governance, Preservation & promotion of Culture, Environmental conservation, and Sustainable & Equitable Socio-economic Development. Under these pillars each domain is dissected that takes care of promoting and practicing of GNH. 

Why Visit Bhutan - Landscape, Flora and Fauna
Why Visit Bhutan – Landscape, Flora and Fauna

Landscape & view – diversity of flora and fauna

Bhutan is a Himalayan country with lofty mountains. Bhutan has outstandingly wide range of Biodiversity. In connection with one of the pillars of GNH aforementioned, Environmental conservation has been always one of the highest priorities. We have almost 70% of the country covered by forest hence housing a wide range of biodiversity. There is much to discover yet, as some of the animal and plant species found here are amongst the newest ones. Bhutan is also known for its herbal plants and minerals. It is called as ‘Lho Jong Men Jong’, meaning, Southern land of medicinal herbs by the Tibetans. 

As one descends to land in Paro airport, the only international airport in the country, the view one can see from the airplane definitely explains “why visit Bhutan”, it is breath taking. One can only see narrow strip of runway when the hearts skip a little and deep fear creeps in. it is believed to be one of the toughest airports in the world. The land routes wind around the mountainous terrain to the other parts of the country. And the scenic beauty that the journey presents is going to be overwhelmingly surprising. The pristine vegetation, freshest breathe of the cool atmosphere, snowcapped mountains, soil scented locality, easy smiles of the local populous and highest passes of the roads will only give more reasons to be here in Bhutan.

With around 70% of the country covered with vegetation, Bhutan is the only country in the world which is carbon negative. This could raise brows of curiosity, yet our vegetation is huge enough that can absorb all the carbon produced and also help absorb carbon produced by neighboring lands. Because of our natural vegetation, we are among the lucky ones to enjoy natural fresh air every day. Everywhere we have the privilege to get into so much in contact with nature. A short hike, a planned excursion, or a camping need not be so expensive. Nature is so much in closeness within our community and reach!

Peaceful Place with warm and Friendly people – Important factor to why visit Bhutan

Why Visit Bhutan - Friendly People
Why Visit Bhutan – Friendly People

Generally people in Bhutan are peace loving, hospitable, welcoming, warm hearted and happily friendly. Owing to the exposure to the modernity some negligible number of crimes can be heard of occasionally. But in any corner of the country, Bhutanese are very friendly, easily greeting any new passer-bys. The smiles in the faces are loudly worn at all times. Younger know the value of respecting their elders. The adults love their younger ones with utmost loyalty. The family bond is the strength of Bhutanese families. This makes our guests feel at home away from home, the most important factor to why visit Bhutan.

Bidhan Gazmer

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