Bhutan

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Kingdom of Bhutan
འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་

'Brug Rgyal-khab (Wylie)
Dru Gäkhap
Anthem: Druk Tsendhen
Capital Thimphu
27°28.0′N 89°38.5′E / 27.467°N 89.6417°E / 27.467; 89.6417
Official languages Dzongkha
Demonym Bhutanese
Government Unitary parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
 -  King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
 -  Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay
Formation Early 17th century
 -  Wangchuk Dynasty 17 December 1907 
 -  Constitutional Monarchy 2007 
Area
 -  Total 38,394 km2 (135th)
14,824 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.1
Population
 -  2011 estimate 708,427[1] (165th)
 -  2005 census 634,982[2]
 -  Density 18.0/km2 (154th)
46.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $3.875 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $5,429[3]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $1.412 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $1,978[3]
HDI (2007) Increase 0.619[4]
medium · 132nd
Currency Ngultrum2 (BTN)
Time zone BTT (UTC+6)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+6)
Drives on the left
Calling code 975
Internet TLD .bt
1. The population of Bhutan had been estimated based on the reported figure of about 1 million in the 1970s when the country had joined the United Nations and precise statistics were lacking.[5] Thus using the annual increase rate of 2–3%, the most population estimates were around 2 million in the year 2000. A national census was carried out in 2005 and it turned out that, 672,425 people lived there. Consequently, United Nations Population Division had down-estimated the country's population in the 2006 revision[6] for the whole period from 1950 to 2050.
2. The Indian rupee is also legal tender.

Bhutan (officially called Kingdom of Bhutan) is a small country in the Himalaya mountains of South Asia. It is ruled by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who has been king since 2006. Bhutan was founded in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Bhutanese people are proud they have always been an independent country. Bhutan's capital city is Thimphu. The official language is Dzongkha.

About 600,000 people live in Bhutan. The people and government of Bhutan are proud of their culture which is based on Tibetan Buddhism. 97% of Bhutan's people are Buddhist.

Until 1974 Bhutan was closed to the outside world. Now people can visit the country, but only in small numbers. The only airport is in Paro district. The country is bordered on the south by the Republic of India and on the north by Tibet, which is part of China since 1949. The main export of Bhutan is hydroelectricity which is sold to India. The economy of Bhutan is very small but is growing quickly. The currency is the Ngultrum, which is pegged at par with the Indian rupee.

National symbols of Bhutan[change | change source]

Military[change | change source]

The Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan's military service. It includes the Royal Bodyguard and the Royal Bhutan Police. Membership is voluntary, and the minimum age for recruitment is 18. The standing army numbers about 16,000 and is trained by the Indian Army.[7] Being a landlocked country, Bhutan has no navy. It also has no air force or army aviation corps. The Army relies on Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force for air assistance.

Wildlife[change | change source]

The Takin is Bhutan's national animal.

More than 770 species of bird and 5,400 species of plants are known to occur throughout the kingdom. Bhutan has a rich primate life with rare species such as the golden langur.[8][9]

Cities and towns[change | change source]

The major cities of Bhutan are:

Sports[change | change source]

Changlimithang Stadium, during a parade.

Bhutan's national sport is archery. Competitions are held regularly in most villages. Cricket has gained popularity in Bhutan, particularly since the introduction of television channels from India. The Bhutan national cricket team is one of the more successful affiliate nations in the region. Football is also an increasingly popular sport.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]