Gods and Sacred Mountains | Animated Nature | Divine Landscape

Divine Landscape

In Bhutan, even today, certain phenomena in the landscape are religiously interpreted and worshipped. The origins of these practices go way back to pre-Buddhist times.


Even though the written sources do not say much about this time and its religious beliefs we can, nonetheless, with great certainty assume that the religion before Buddhism was a mixture of animistic beliefs with shamanistic rituals. Natural phenomena – be they cliffs, woods, mountains, rivers or lakes – are seen as supernatural beings. This with the understanding that these phenomena are inhabited by some form of living soul.

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The local priest of Shana, in Paro, in the middle of a sacred landscape. In the lake lives a water deity. In the background, the mountain Jichu Drakye embodies a mountain god.