Located in the heart of the Great Himalayan mountain range in a territory about the size of Switzerland, the Kingdom of Bhutan has for centuries remained apart from the rest of the world. Its borders were cautiously opened in 1974.
The Buddhist faith plays a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of the country. It permeates all strands of secular life, creating with it a reverence for the land and its well-being. Spectacular religious festivals bring together the population and are dedicated to the Guru Rinpoche, who founded Mahayana Buddhism, the official religion, in the 17th century.