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Coordinates: 27°25′01″N 90°26′06″E / 27.417°N 90.435°E / 27.417; 90.435

Kingdom of Bhutan
འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ (Dzongkha)
Druk Gyal Khap
Flag of Bhutan
Anthem: Druk tsendhen
The Thunder Dragon Kingdom
A map of the world, centred on South Asia, highlighting Bhutan
A map of east-central Asia, highlighting Bhutan
and largest city
27°28.0′N 89°38.5′E / 27.4667°N 89.6417°E / 27.4667; 89.6417
Official languages Dzongkha
Religion Buddhism 74.8%
Demonym Bhutanese
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• King
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Tshering Tobgay
Legislature Parliament
National Council
National Assembly
• Unification of Bhutan
17th century
17 December 1907
8 August 1949
21 September 1971
18 July 2008
• Total
38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi)[1][2] (133rd)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
797,765[3] (165th)
• 2005a census
• Density
19.3/km2 (50.0/sq mi) (196th)
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$8.010 billion[5]
• Per capita
$9,805[5] (115th)
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.610 billion[5]
• Per capita
$3,197[5] (130th)
Gini (2012) 38.7[6]
HDI (2015) Increase 0.607[7]
medium · 132nd
Currency Ngultrum (BTN) and Indian rupee (INR)
Time zone UTC+6 (BTT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+6 (not observed)
Drives on the left
Calling code +975
ISO 3166 code [[ISO 3166-2:Script error: No such module "ISO 3166".|Script error: No such module "ISO 3166".]]
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.[8] 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 the population was 672,425. Consequently, United Nations Population Division reduced its estimation of the country's population in the 2006 revision[9] for the whole period from 1950 to 2050.

Bhutan (/bˈtɑːn/; འབྲུག་ཡུལ་ Druk Yul), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan (འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ Druk Gyal Khap),[10] is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the states of Assam and West Bengal in the south. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center.

The independence of Bhutan has endured for centuries and it has never been colonized in its history. Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the Bhutanese state developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Headed by a spiritual leader known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the territory was composed of many fiefdoms and governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Following a civil war in the 19th century, the House of Wangchuck reunited the country and established relations with the British Empire. Bhutan fostered a strategic partnership with India during the rise of Chinese communism and has a disputed border with the People's Republic of China. In 2008, it transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and held the first election to the National Assembly of Bhutan. The National Assembly of Bhutan is part of the bicameral parliament of the Bhutanese democracy.[11]

The country's landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north, where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The highest mountain in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum, which is also a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. There is also diverse wildlife in Bhutan.

In South Asia, Bhutan ranks first in economic freedom, ease of doing business, and peace; second in per capita income; and is the least corrupt country as of 2016. However, Bhutan continues to be a least developed country. Hydroelectricity accounts for the major share of its exports.[12] The government is a parliamentary democracy; the head of state is the King of Bhutan, known as the "Dragon King". Bhutan maintains diplomatic relations with 52 countries and the European Union, but does not have formal ties with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. It is a member of the United Nations, SAARC, BIMSTEC and the Non Aligned Movement. The Royal Bhutan Army maintains extensive military relations with the Indian Armed Forces.

Bhutan is also notable for pioneering the concept of gross national happiness.[13]


The precise etymology of "Bhutan" is unknown, although it is likely to derive from the Tibetan endonym "Bod" used for Tibet. Traditionally, it is taken to be a transcription of the Sanskrit Bhoṭa-anta "end of Tibet", a reference to Bhutan's position as the southern extremity of the Tibetan plateau and culture.[14][15][16]

Since the 17th century the official name of Bhutan has been Druk yul (country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon People, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon, a reference to the country's dominant Buddhist sect) and Bhutan only appears in English-language official correspondence.[16]

Names similar to Bhutan — including Bohtan, Buhtan, Bottanthis, Bottan and Bottanter — began to appear in Europe around the 1580s. Jean-Baptiste Tavernier's 1676 Six Voyages is the first to record the name Boutan. However, in every case, these seem to have been describing not modern Bhutan but the Kingdom of Tibet. The modern distinction between the two did not begin until well into the Scottish explorer George Bogle's 1774 expedition — realizing the differences between the two regions, cultures and states, his final report to the East India Company formally proposed labelling the Druk Desi's kingdom as "Boutan" and the Panchen Lama's as "Tibet". The EIC's surveyor general James Rennell first anglicized the French name as Bootan and then popularized the distinction between it and greater Tibet.[17]

Locally, Bhutan has been known by many names. One of the earliest Western records of Bhutan, the 1627 Relação of the Portuguese Jesuits Estêvão Cacella and João Cabral, records its name variously as Cambirasi (among the Koch Biharis[18]), Potente, and Mon (an endonym for southern Tibet).[17] The first time a separate Kingdom of Bhutan appeared on a western map, it did so under its local name as "Broukpa".[17] Others including Lho Mon ("Dark Southland"), Lho Tsendenjong ("Southland of the Cypress"), Lhomen Khazhi ("Southland of the Four Approaches") and Lho Menjong ("Southland of the Herbs").[19][20]


See: History of Bhutan (Wikipedia)


See: Geography of Bhutan (Wikipedia)

External links

Template:Countries of Asia Template:South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Template:Monarchies

This article includes content from Bhutan on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo
  1. "9th Five Year Plan (2002–2007)" (PDF). Royal Government of Bhutan. 2002. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  2. "National Portal of Bhutan". Department of Information Technology, Bhutan. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  3. "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  4. "Population and Housing Census of Bhutan — 2005" (PPT). UN. 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Butan". International Monetary Fund. 
  6. "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  7. "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  8. "Treaty Bodies Database – Document – Summary Record – Bhutan". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). 5 June 2001. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  9. "World Population Prospects". United Nations. 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  10. Driem, George van (1998). Dzongkha = Rdoṅ-kha. Leiden: Research School, CNWS. p. 478. ISBN 90-5789-002-X. 
  11. Dalrymple, William (2008-03-23). "What use is democracy to idyllic Bhutan?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  12. "Bhutan's Hydropower Sector: 12 Things to Know". Asian Development Bank. 30 January 2014. 
  13. "Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index | OPHI". Retrieved 2017-10-02. 
  14. Chakravarti, Balaram (1979). A Cultural History of Bhutan. 1. Hilltop. p. 7. 
  15. Taylor, Isaac. Names and Their Histories; a Handbook of Historical Geography and Topographical Nomenclature. Gale Research Co. (Detroit), 1898. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  16. 16.0 16.1 U.S. Library of Congress, Country Studies, Bhutan, HISTORICAL SETTING, BHUTAN Origins and Early Settlement, A.D. 600–1600,
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "History of Bhutan: How Europe heard about Bhutan". Kuensel. 24 August 2003. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  18. Cacella, Estêvão. Trans. by Baillie, Luiza Maria. "Report which Father Estevao Cacella of the Society of Jesus Sent to Father Alberto Laercio, Provincial of the Province of Malabar of East India, about His Journey to Cathay, until He Came to the Kingdom of Bhotanta" (1627). Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  19. Grange, Kevin (2011). Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World. Outdoor Lives. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-3433-3. 
  20. Clements, William M. (2006). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife: Southeast Asia and India, Central and East Asia, Middle East. 2. Greenwood Press. p. 105. ISBN 0-313-32849-8.