Here are some interesting facts about Bhutan!
1. Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world, which means that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. All thanks to its lush forests which act as a carbon sink and absorb most of the carbon dioxide.
2. Bhutan was isolated entirely from the world until 1974 when media was allowed to cover the new king’s coronation, about 64 years later since it was found. Infact, Bhutan was the last country in the world to introduce Television sets. It was banned because the Bhutanese government feared it would corrupt the Buddhist way of life in the country. The first show broadcasted in the country was that of the 1998 World Cup Final held in France.
3. Bhutan is the only country in the world to have zero traffic signals. Roads are a rather dangerous adventure in Bhutan with steep curves in the mountainous regions. Herds of animals like cows and buffaloes can be found freely roaming on these roads.
4. Bhutan does not believe in GDP as an indicator of economic growth and development. It has introduced another measurement known as Gross National Happiness. Bhutanese people have four pillars or quantitative indicators for the measure of GNH, which are sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, good governance and a healthy environment.
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5. Paro Airport in Bhutan is known to be the most dangerous airport to land on in the whole world. Moreover, guess what? Only 8 trained pilots are allowed to fly to this airport.
6. Bhutan hosts the Highest Unclimbed Peak in the World. Gangkhar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan, has never been conquered. It has an elevation of 7570 metres and the access to it has been strictly prohibited by the Bhutanese government since 1987. Many unsuccessful attempts were made to climb the mountain before that. Infact, the first team which tried to attempt the summit could not even find it because the maps were so inaccurate!
7. Did you know that it is illegal to kill animals in Bhutan? This law comes from the traditional values of Buddhist teachings, which prohibits the killing of any living organism.
8. Bhutan has never been ruled by an external entity, thanks to its inaccessible territory, smart decisions and tactics used by various kings and gurus who negotiated smart deals with the British when they were expanding their base in India and Nepal.
9. A fact about Bhutan that travelers must know is that the Bhutanese always refuse food the first time to show respect and gratitude. They close their mouth and say “Meshu”.
10. We have all heard of patriarchy but do you know what matriarchy is? Well, in Bhutan, women are the head of the family and run all businesses from shops to farms. They even inherit properties, and a man moves into the house of his wife after marriage.
11. The King of Bhutan is known for his humble personality and humanitarian efforts. Rightly called the “People’s King”, His Majesty Jigme Khesar has met almost every citizen of his country and loves to talk to people personally about their griefs and requirements. And that is probably the reason why Bhutanese love their king, that too a lot!
12. Do you know it is mandatory for everyone to wear the national dress of Bhutan to schools, government buildings or on any formal occasion? This way, Bhutan tries to preserve and promote its traditional values.
13. Polygamy is legal in Bhutan. The fourth king of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck is a famous example, who is married to four of his sisters.
14. Bhutan provides free basic education and healthcare to all its citizens. Education is considered a basic right for its people and vital to achieving the nation’s social, cultural and economic goals. The government charges no tuition fees and even provides free stationary and textbooks to rural children. Besides, the Bhutanese enjoy free basic healthcare service at hospitals or health clinics.
So that was all for Bhutan. Do let us know how did you find these facts in the comments section below!