Knowledge Note

Many of Bhutan’s cultural heritage sites, such as dzongs (fortresses), monasteries, and stupas (relic mounds), are today in active use virtually as they have for centuries, constituting what is known as “living heritage.” Often, these heritage sites are restored on an ongoing basis using traditional skills and practices. This has helped Bhutan keep alive much of its original heritage and is the reason for its unique identity. Preserving Bhutan’s unique heritage and rich cultural values and practices has therefore become one of the four pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH), Bhutan’s guiding development philosophy.