Bhutan is just a tiny country all about Buddhism, Peace, religion, environment conservation and most importantly focusing on happiness. This sound great, right? Here I want to share some interesting and quirky facts about Bhutan.
- Bhutan is a very tiny country located between the eastern Himalayas with a 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 growth on the basis of the happiness of the people instead of economic growth. The GNH is measured on the basis of four Pillars- sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural protection, and good governance.
- It is known as the “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. The airport is located at Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the Paro Chho river; surrounded by the highest mountain peaks. It is considered one of the world’s most dangerous and challenging airports in the world. Only total eight numbers of pilots are certified to land at the airport. Read more about Paro here.
- 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. Read more about Best Places to Visit in thimphu.
- One more unique and interesting fact about Bhutan is that 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.
- The tiny country is 70% covered 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 the western part of China and Tibet. The legend says that the “Divine Madman” named Drukpa Kunley who was not only a preacher but also a saint asked to perform miracles during one of his religious lectures. 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 to graze on meadows. Due to its legendary folk fire, it was declared a 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. This fact about Bhutan shows the health of citizens matters to them.
- Television and the internet were banned in Bhutan until 1999. Bhutan is also one of the last nations in the world to introduce television. Sounds cool right!!
- When first I put my footsteps in this country, the first thing I noticed is that women workers more than male workers. When I entered the restaurant, I had seen the receptionist, porter, and waiter all were women. On the very next morning, when I was on an early morning walk, I saw a sweeper and drainage worker also a woman.
- They work as a taxi driver, and policeman too. It is a very uncommon sight in India. After staying for a week in the country, I also could know that people buy property in the name of women only. My receptionist at the hotel said that they believe in gender equality very much and yes they are. This fact about Bhutan makes it more unique country to visit in the world.
- All foreign tourists[except India, Bangladesh, and 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 a wooden phallus. This is one such interesting fact about Bhutan.
- 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.
So this was all you need to know about a few quirky and Interesting facts about Bhutan. If you liked reading this post, pin it for Later!!