October 30, 2013

A land of pristine natural beauty and spectacular scenery, Bhutan is a dream tourist destination. Visitors from far and wide marvel at its lush green mountains and silvery snow peaks together with the centuries-old fortresses and monasteries dotted across this Himalayan nation. The citizens of Bhutan are regarded as being among the happiest in the world.

When a Guardian journalist visited Bhutan recently, the country’s “mystical” quotient did not disappoint. Among other things, the writer noted “men and women laboring in song,” a woman “scampering around churning a pot of yak butter tea,” and the “sound of mule bells ringing in the valley.” As he reaches the remote mountain home of a local herder, the man quips, as though starring in a tourism commercial, "You know, happiness is a place."

On Monday 2 April 2012, the UN will implement Resolution 65/39 which places 'happiness' officially on the global agenda....This is a major triumph for Bhutan's soft power. Forty years ago, the King of this nation established Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an alternative to Gross National Product (GNP)

“I’d like to see this centre develop not only as a forum for India’s cultural excellence, but as a stage for the expression of the best in Bhutanese creativity.” This was what one of India’s most revered public figures, Dr Karan Singh expects of the Nehru-Wangchuck cultural centre...