Origin of the name Bhutan may be derived from the Sanskrit Bhotanta which means “the end of Tibet,” or the Sanskrit Bhu-attan, meaning “highlands.” Bhutanese call their home “Druk Yul,” which means “the Land of the Thunder Dragons,” because of the extremely powerful storms which constantly roar in from the Himalayas. Until the 1960’s it had no roads, automobiles, telephone, postal system or electricity. Bhutanese had no access to TV or Internet until limited access was permitted in 1999. The first foreign tourists were allowed into Bhutan in 1974.
Bhutan is the world’s only carbon sink, that is; it absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. It sells hydro-electrical power, making it the only country whose largest export is renewable energy. 72% of the country is forested. In fact, it’s in the country’s constitution to keep 60% of its land forested. Respect for the environment, the eco system and all species is a serious matter in Bhutan. Anyone caught killing an endangered species, faces the harsh sentence of life in prison.
Bhutanese have a long tradition of painting phalluses on their houses to serve as a symbol of fertility and good luck and all citizens officially become one year older on New Year’s Day. This way, no one forgets anyone’s birthday! Rather than using the GDP as an economic index, Bhutan measures its overall “health” through the four pillars: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance, which together form the Gross National Happiness or GNH.
Below are some pics clicked by our clients during a recent trip to Bhutan..
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