A quick glimpse of Bhutan

Sandwiched in between two of the world’s most populous countries – China to the north, and India to the South – Bhutan is a tiny landlocked country that lies on the edge of the Eastern Himalayas.

Area: 38,394 sq kilometers/14,824 sq miles

Population: 768,577 (Projection for 2016 based on 2005 census)

Form of Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Ruling Monarch: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Currency: Ngultrum (1 USD is roughly equivalent to Nu. 66)

Terrain: Three major terrain types – the Himalayas of the north, the hills and valleys, and the foothills and plains of the south.

  • According to the Constitution, Bhutan must maintain a forest cover of 60% of its total area. At the moment, it has been estimated that approximately 72.5% of the country’s total area is under forest cover.

Altitudinal range: 97 meters/318 feet at its lowest, and 7,570 meters/24,836 at its highest

Official Language(s): Dzongkha and English

Religions: Buddhism and Hinduism

National Symbols:

National Bird: Raven

National Animal: Takin

National Flower: Blue Poppy

National Sport: Archery

National Tree: Weeping Cypress, also known as the Bhutan Cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana)

Economy: Bhutan’s economy has grown considerably over the past few decades. Before the introduction of the Ngultrum in 1968, the preferred form of currency was to barter goods and services. Since then, Bhutan has progressed from a largely subsistence-based agrarian economy to an economy driven by the production and sale of hydropower electricity. Over the past few years, the service industry in Bhutan (particularly the tourism industry) has also grown to become one of the major contributors to the country’s rapid economic growth.

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