The state religion of Bhutan is the Drukpa sect of Kargyupa, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. Ever since its introduction in the eighth century, Buddhism has shaped the nation’s history and played a vital part in the life of its people. Throughout Bhutan, from the most densely populated valleys to the most remote mountain way-stops, religious monuments and symbols bear witness to a deep and respected faith. One comes across prayer wheels, prayer flags and the sacred mantra Om Mani Padme Hung carved on stone slabs and rocky hillsides. Chortens (Stupas) housing the sacred relics dot the landscape. Goenpas (Monasteries) and Lhakhangs (Temples), some dating back to as early as the eighth century, are the focal point of each village. Bhutanese arts are deeply imbued with a strong sense of morality, with many art forms epitomising the eternal struggle between forces of good and evil.