Bhutan Travel Information

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WWF Bhutan The World Wide Fund For Nature in Bhutan.

Facts About Bhutan

Background: In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal afairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of these displaced persons are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. Maoist Assamese separatists from India, who have established themselves in the southeast portion of Bhutan, have drawn Indian cross-border incursions.
Government type: monarchy; special treaty relationship with India
Capital: Thimphu
Currency: 1 ngultrum (Nu) = 100 chetrum; note - Indian currency is also legal tender

Geography of Bhutan

Location: Southern Asia, between China and India
Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E
Map references: Asia
Area:
total: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,075 km
border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas
Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m
Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbide
Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 66%
other: 26% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 340 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: violent storms coming down from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season
Environment - current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

More Geography

People of Bhutan

Population: 2,232,291 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  39.99% 
15-64 years:  56.05% 
65 years and over:  3.96% 
Population growth rate: 2.17% 
Birth rate: 35.73 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 14.03 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 108.89 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  52.79 years
male:  53.16 years
female:  52.41 years 
Total fertility rate: 5.07 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Bhutanese
Ethnic groups: Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
Languages: Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.2%
male: 56.2%
female: 28.1% (1995 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Bhutan Map Economy History