Some quirky and interesting facts about Bhutan

Bhutan is just a tiny country all about Buddhism, Peace, religion, environment conservation and most importantly focusing on happiness. This is sound great, right? Here I want to Share some interesting and quirky things about the Bhutan.

  • Bhutan is very tiny country located between eastern Himalayas with the total area covering 38,394 km² whose capital city is Thimphu.
  • Bhutan is known as the country of “Gross National Happiness (GNH)”. This country measures the growth on the basis of happiness of the people instead of economic growth. The GNH measured on the basis of four Pillars- sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural protection and good governance
  • It is known as “land of thunder dragons” because of violent storms.
  • Bhutan is also known as the Last Shangri La” because of the pristine and beautiful environment and the ethereal sights on offer.
  • Bhutan is a democratic and constitutional monarchy. The first democratic election started to begin in 2007.
  • It is the only country whose capital city Thimphu has no airport. Airport is located at Paro in a deep valley on the bank of Paro Chho river; surrounded by highest mountain peaks. It is considered as one of the world’s most dangerous and challenging airport in the world. Only total eight numbers of pilots are certified to land at the airport.
Paro Airport View Point
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world that doesn’t have a single traffic light in the capital city- Thimphu, instead policemen stand at major intersections and direct traffic.
  • Traffic accidents aren’t common in Bhutan, despite the mountainous road conditions and treacherous roads. You will not hear any honks of vehicles during the traffic or on the hairpin band roads.
  • Tiny country is 70% covered under the forest and it is a leading country in environmental conservation. By constitutional law, at least 60% of the country should be covered by trees.
  • Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, a weird cross between Cow and Goat. It is found only in Bhutan and western part of China and Tibet. The legend says that, the “Divine Madman” named Drukpa Kunley who was not only preacher but also a saint asked to perform miracle during one of his religious lecture. The saint agreed to do so provided he was fed for lunch – a whole cow and a whole goat. Once served, he devoured the food of both animals and left out the bones. He then took out the head of the goat and fixed it to the skeleton of the cow and with uttered magic, he created a live animal, which had the head of the goat and the body of the cow started graze on meadows. Due to its legendary folk fire, it was declared as national animal by the king in 2005.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Bhutan is the first nation in the world to have successfully banned the sale of tobacco countrywide. While Bhutanese are still allowed to smoke, they are not to do so in public.
  • Television and internet was banned in Bhutan until 1999. Bhutan is also one of the last nations in the world to introduce television.
  • When first I put my footsteps in this country, first thing I noticed is that women workers are more than the male workers. When I entered into the restaurant, I had seen the receptionist, porter, waiter all are women. On the very next morning, when I was on early morning walk, I saw sweeper and drainage worker also as women. They works as taxi driver, policeman too. It is very uncommon sight in India. After staying for a week in the country, I also could knew that people buys the property on the name of women only. My receptionist of hotel said that they believe in gender equality very much and yes they are.
Women Drainage Workers on the street in early morning
  • All foreign tourists[except India,Bangladesh,Maldives] have to travel with a tour operator and pay a minimum fee of $250-$280 per day to visit Bhutan, making it both expensive and a giant pain for backpackers to visit.
  • It is the only country where Phallus/Pennies are worshiped and yes there is a temple called Chimi Lhakhang where women from all over the world come for seeking blessings to conceive a child and they get blessings by stroking with wooden phallus.

  • The Indian army maintains a military base in the Haa valley of Bhutan to maintain security against incursions from China. This showcases the friendliness nature between the two countries.

 

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