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About Bhutan




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Bhutan, or as it is called by its local people, the "Druk Yul," (translated to 'Land of the Thunder Dragon', is a landlocked State, located in the Himalayan region and bordered by Tibet (to the north), India in the south, east and west (and precisely, the State of Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and the principality of Sikkim). Little as European Switzerland, with almost 38,394 square kilometers, the country has a population precisely of about an estimated 742,737 (634,982 for the 2005 census).

Since 1961 the capital of Bhutan is Thimphu, also the largest city, with a population of about 79,185 and situated in the western central part of the country, in a valley known as the Thimphu Chuu river valley. The city's main thoroughfare (lined with hotels, shopping center and hotels) is known to be Norzin Lam. Other major cities in Bhutan are Paro (west) with about 15,000 people and home to the only international airport of the country, Phuentsholing (south) with a population of about 20,537 (southern Bhutan), Punakha (the original capital of Bhutan), with about a population of 21,000, then Samdrup Jongkhar, Gelephu, Trashigang, Wangdue Phodrang, Taga Dzong, Trongsa.

The national language of Bhutan is the Dzongkha, part of the Tibetan language family. Also Lhotshampa (Nepali-speaking community), mainly based in southern Bhutan, before the '80s was approximately spoken by 30% of the population. Sikkimese constitutes the language of 25% of the population. Tshangla, the language of the Sharchop (a pre-Tibetan language of Bhutan), is also spoken by a vast number of people. English is widely spoken in the capital.

As far as religion in Bhutan, it is practiced the Mahayana Buddhism (introduced in the 7th century AD), which is the basis of the spiritual heritage of the country. However the law of the State provides for freedom of religion (although proselytism is forbidden by the State. Then come the followers of Hinduism and other small numbers of other religious.

The political system of Bhutan was forged in a absolute monarchy, that become a constitutional monarchy in the '50s of the 20th century. In 2008, Bhutan adopted its first modern Constitution. The head of state is the King of Bhutan (since 2008 is the Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, born in 1980 and crowned as the 5th Dragon King). The Executive power is exercised by the Lhengye Zhungtshog, headed by the Prime Minister. The Legislative power is organized in a Parliament, formed with a bicameral upper National Council and the lower National Assembly.

Bhutan's legal system follow the codes established by a Tibetan Buddhist lama, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, known also for unifying Bhutan in 17th century as a nation state. There are also a vast extent of Anglo-Indian common law influences. Under the Constitution of 2008, the Judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court, the High Court, and twenty Dzongkhag Courts.

The currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum (Nu), also the Indian rupee is widely accepted.

Education and healthcare in Bhutan are free and the to a large extend there is an egalitarian society. There are about 181 doctors in Bhutan, and about more than 30 hospitals. The economy of Bhutan is based on agriculture and forestry. Agriculture's products are above all rice, corn, root crops, citrus, grains, dairy products, eggs. Industrial production growth rate is 9.3% since 1996.

In terms of bio-diversity and the Environmental conservation Bhutan is very reach, and they have been placed at the core of the nation's development strategy. Himalayan scenery, a rich wildlife, with various numbers of birds, mammals and plants, form the majority of its landscape. In 1992 Bhutan signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity. More than 770 species of bird have been recorded in the country, together with a more than 5,400 species of plants.

Transports in Bhutan consist of about 8,000 km (5,000 mi) of roads and three airports, Yongphulla Airport in the town of Trashigang, Paro Airport (this also for international service), and Bathpalathang Airport (situated in Jakar). Near by but in India, close to Darjeeling, Buthan is also served by the Bagdogra Airport. The roads system of Bhutan consist of about 8,050 km (5,000 mi), of which only 4,991 km (3,101 mi) are paved. There are no railways in Bhutan.

Buddhist temples, shrines, dzongs and traditional Bhutanese houses are among the rarest sights in the world, together with the friendly hospitality of the Bhutanese people.