654c9088f9e3fcaa4b608d61cb4d217e--buddhist-meditation-buddhist-art

While Bhutan is largely Buddhist, the Bhutanese constitution guarantees freedom of religion and citizens are free to practice any form of worship so long as it does not impinge on the rights of others. Christianity, Hinduism and Islam are also present in the country.

People often refer to Bhutan as the last stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism. Buddhism was first introduced by the Indian Tantric master Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. Until then the people practiced Bonism a religion that worshipped all forms of nature, remnants of which are still evident.

By far the greatest contributor was Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal. His arrival in 1616 from Tibet developed and unified the country as one whole nation-state giving it a distinct national identity.