H idden deep in the folds of the great Himalaya Mountains for years, Bhutan developed its own civilisation. The population of about 680,000 people, living in close harmony with nature, evolved a unique identity, derived largely from a rich religious and cultural heritage. Today, the world is seeing many exotic aspects of this kingdom.
B hutan is becoming increasingly known for its pure practice of Mahayana Buddhism in the Tantric form, its untouched culture, its pristine ecology and wildlife, and the unparalleled scenic beauty of its majestic peaks and lush valleys. It is still, in many ways, a magical kingdom of the past. Its development philosophy is affixed on the belief that material pursuit alone will not fulfil the ultimate desire of human beings happiness and that a balance must be struck between the spiritual and material needs by creating an advantageous environment.
I t is a matter of great pride to the Bhutanese that their small kingdom was never colonised. Its ancient history, which is a mixture of the oral tradition and classical literature, tells of a largely self-sufficient population which had limited contact with the outside world until the turn of the century.
T he gushing rivers below the high-hanging suspension bridges, the waterfall-alike cascading terraces of paddy fields, valleys in all manifest of geographical features, the narrow roads unwinding from the foot of the valley to the highest mountain passes and snow-capped mountain to the last of horizon: All this makes Bhutan a beautiful episode in our existence.