Facts about Bhutan – Bhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China. The legendary land of Bhutan was first settled in the ninth century by wandering migrants from the Tibet region of China. The tiny Kingdom of Bhutan has been called “The Last Shangrila.
Country Profile of Bhutan
|Capital and largest city||Thimphu|
|Neighbour Countries||China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh|
|National Day||17 December (1907)|
|The form of Government||Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy|
|President||Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (King)|
|Prime Minister||Tshering Tobgay|
|Currency||Bhutanese ngultrum (BTN) Indian Rupee (INR)|
National Identities of Bhutan
|National flower||Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis)|
|National tree||Himalayan cypress (Cupressus torolusa)|
|National animal||Takin (Burdorcas taxicolor)|
National Flag of Bhutan
|Flag Designed by||Mayeum Choying Wangmo Dorji|
|National Anthem||Druk Tsendhen|
People in Bhutan
Bhutanese people primarily consist of the Ngalops and Sharchops, called the Western Bhutanese and Eastern Bhutanese respectively. The Lhotshampa, meaning “southerner Bhutanese”, are a heterogeneous group of mostly Nepal ancestry. It was claimed they constituted 45% of the population in 1988 census.
Economy of Bhutan
- Bhutan has the second-fastest-growing economy in the world, with an annual economic growth rate of 22.4 %.
- Basic Economy – The economy is based on agriculture and forestry and provides the livelihoods for 90% of the population. Agriculture is primarily subsistence farming and animal husbandry. The economy of Bhutan is aligned with that of India through strong trade and monetary links.
- Commercial Activities – Cottage industries, which include weaving, account for the majority of production.
- Major Industries – Manufactured goods include cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, and calcium carbide. Electricity is another important industry.
- Exports – Electricity, cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones and spices.
- Imports – Fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery, vehicles, fabrics, and rice.
- Bhutan and India signed a ‘free trade’ accord in 2008, which additionally allowed Bhutanese imports and exports from third markets to transit India without tariffs.
- 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.
Sports in Bhutan
- Bhutan’s national and most popular sport is archery.
- Another traditional sport is the Digor, which resembles the shot put and horseshoe throwing.
Seasons in Bhutan
- The climate in Bhutan varies with elevation, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow in the north.
- Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.
Biodiversity of Bhutan
- Bhutan signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992 and became a party to the convention on 25 August 1995.
- It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with two revisions, the most recent of which was received by the convention on 4 February 2010.
- More than 770 species of bird have been recorded in Bhutan. The globally endangered white-winged duck has been added recently to Bhutan’s bird list.
- According to the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature, Bhutan is viewed as a model for proactive conservation initiatives.
- The Kingdom has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of its biodiversity.
- It is not treated as a sector but rather as a set of concerns that must be mainstreamed in Bhutan’s overall approach to development planning and to be buttressed by the force of law.
- The country’s constitution mentions environment standards in multiple sections.
- Jigme Dorji National Park
- Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
- Royal Manas National Park
- Thrumshingla National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries & Nature Reserves
- Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
- Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary
- Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
- Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
- Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve
Amazing Facts about Bhutan
- The King of Bhutan is known as the “Dragon King”.
- Bhutan is also notable for pioneering the concept of gross national happiness.
- Bhutan is a democracy and constitutional monarchy. The Bhutanese monarchy was founded in 1907. It held its first democratic elections in 2008.
- Origin of the name Bhutan may be derived from the Sanskrit Bhotanta which means “the end of Tibet,” or the Sanskrit Bhu-attan, meaning “highlands.”
- Bhutanese call their home “Druk Yul,” which means “the Land of the Thunder Dragons,” because of the extremely powerful storms which constantly roar in from the Himalayas.
- Bhutan is the first country in the world with specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment.
- Bhutan is the only nation in the world where the sale of tobacco is banned.
- At 24,840 feet, Gangkhar Puensum is the highest point in Bhutan—and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.
- Thimphu is one of just two capital cities in Asia that does not have a single traffic light. The other is Pyongyang, North Korea.
- Plastic bags have been banned in Bhutan since 1999.
- Bhutan is the world’s only carbon sink, that is; it absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. It sells hydro-electrical power, making it the only country whose largest export is renewable energy. 72% of the country is forested. In fact, it’s in the country’s constitution to keep 60% of its land forested.
- Paro Airport is the only international airport of Bhutan.
- Bhutan has a mandatory national dress code. Men wear knee-length traditional garments and women must wear ankle-length dresses. The colours are determined by social class and status.
- The climate of Bhutan varies as it is tropical in the southern plains, experiences cool winters and hot summers in central valleys and severe winters and cool summers in the Himalayas.
- Bhutan’s economy is based on agriculture, forestry, tourism and the sale of hydroelectric power to India.
- Bhutan’s national identity is intimately bound up with its religious identity as a Buddhist nation.
The National Day of Bhutan is December 17. The date marks the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first Druk Gyalpo of modern Bhutan.