About Bhutan

Bhutan is a landlocked country roughly the size of Switzerland, with a population of approximately 700,000. Bhutan is known as Druk Yul, the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Bhutan is a country deeply rooted in Mahayana Buddhism, a tradition that stresses not material rewards, but individual development, sanctity of life, compassion for others, respect for nature, social harmony, and the importance of compromise. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck became the youngest monarch in the world when he was crowned at age 28.

In 2008, Bhutan became a parliamentary democracy after 100 years of sovereign rule. A draft constitution currently provides for two houses of parliament - a 75-member national assembly and a 25-member national council.

There are 28 hospitals in the entire country and only one airport.

Healthcare is free for both Bhutanese and foreign visitors.

The first foreign tourists were allowed into Bhutan in 1974.

Television and Internet access were introduced to Bhutan in 1999.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) declared Bhutan one of the world's 10 most important biodiversity hotspots. To preserve this rich biodiversity, Bhutan maintains at least 60% of the land area under forest cover, and designated more than 25% of land as national parks and protected areas.

Access to basic education has become the inalienable right of all Bhutanese. However, basic education does not yet reach the remotest parts of the Kingdom.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.

Bhutanese cuisine favors hot and spicy dishes. Ema datse, a traditional and popular Bhutanese dish, is comprised of sliced chilies cooked in a creamy cheese sauce and served over red rice.

Facts About Bhutan

Country Area: 38,394 Sq. km
Population: 6, 72,425 (as per 2005 population census)
Head of the State: King...Coronation of the 5th King was on 7th November 2008
Head of the Government: Prime Minister...First democratic govt. elected in March 2008
Religion: Buddhist (80%) and Hindu (20%)
Language: Dzongkha (official language), Nepali, Tibetan with over 18 local dialects
Time Zone: +6 Hours GMT Forest Area: 72.5%
Cultivated Area: 7.8%
Protected Area: 26%
National Tree: Cypress (Cupressus corneyana)
National Animal: Takin (Budorcas taxicolor)
National Bird: Raven (Corvus corax tibetanus)
National Flower: Blue Poppy (Meconopsis grandis)
National Sport: Archery
Currency: Ngultrum (Nu.) is at par with Indian rupee
Country Code: 975