Portal:Bhutan

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Map of Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan /bˈtɑːn/ (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཡུལ་; Wylie: 'brug yul; "Land of the Thunder Dragon"), is a landlocked country in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by Indian West Bengal.

Bhutan used to be one of the most isolated countries in the world. Developments including direct international flights, the Internet, mobile phone networks, and cable television have increasingly modernized the urban areas of the country. Bhutan balanced modernization with its ancient culture and traditions under the guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Fervent protection of the environment has been a top priority. The government takes great measures to preserve the nation's traditional culture, identity and the environment. In 2006, Business Week magazine rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world, citing a global survey conducted by the University of Leicester in 2006 called the "World Map of Happiness."

Bhutan's landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the second-largest religion. The capital and largest city is Thimphu. After centuries of direct monarchic rule, the King voluntarily abdicated himself for his son and devolved power to the people. Bhutan held its first democratic elections in March 2008 and Druk Phumtshum Tshogpa (Peace and Prosperity Party) won by a landslide margin (winning 45 out of the 47 seats). Among other international associations, Bhutan is a member of the United Nations and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and hosted the sixteenth SAARC summit in April 2010. The total area of the country is currently 38,816 square kilometres (14,987 sq mi).

Selected article

Taktshang Monastery, Bhutan
Taktsang Dzong or Paro Taktsang (spa phro stag tshang / spa gro stag tshang), also known as Taktsang Monastery or The Tiger's Nest, is a prominent Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma (Red Hat School), located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan. It was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or "tiger lair" caves in which he meditated.

The Guru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang, the temple devoted to Padmasambhava (also known as Gu-ru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang, "The Temple of the Guru with Eight Names") is an elegant structure built around the cave in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye; and has become the cultural icon of Bhutan. A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honour of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.

Selected biography

Center: Shabdrung Ngagwang Namgya. Above: primordial Buddha Vajradhara. Left: mahasiddha Tilopa with a fish. Seated right: Naropa. Sides: monks,lamas, and a yogi in a white robe. Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton. Collection of Rubin Museum of Art.
Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (ཞབས་དྲུང་ངག་དབང་རྣམ་རྒྱལ། zhabs drung ngag dbang rnam rgyal) (1594–1651) was the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state. In addition to unifying the various warring fiefdoms for first time in the 1630s, he also sought to create a distinctly Bhutanese cultural identity, separate from the Tibetan culture from which it was derived.

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Ashi Pema Dechen (pl) — Dance of the Black Hats (en) — Dorje Lingpa (1346—1405) — Lower Drukpa tradition (de) — Upper Drukpa tradition (de) — Trashigang Dzong (en) — Haa Wangchuk Lo Dzong (en) — Dobji Dzong (en/[1]/[2]) — Zhemgang Dzong (en) — Daga Dzong (en/en) —Trashi Yangtse Dzong (en) — Yonten Thaye (pl) — Choley Yeshe Ngodub (pt) — Tenzin Drugyey (no) — Bhutan Royal Botanic Gardens (es) — Bhutan–Spain relations (es) — Territorial disputes between the Kingdom of Bhutan and China (zh) — Chukha Hydroelectric Power Station (no) — Nishioka Keiji (ja) — Karma Ura (ja) — Jasha Maroo (cs/ru[3]) — Mebartsho (ru) — State awards of Bhutan (ru) — State system of Bhutan (ru) — Sonam Choden Wangchuck (ru) — Khamsum Singhye Wangchuck (ru) — Dechen Wangmo Wangchuck (ru) — Corvus corax tibetanus (ru) — B-Division (ru/nl) — C-Division (nl) — Kurteop (hr) — Lyonpo (et) — Royal Bhutan Army Air Wing (it) — Eutropis quadratilobus (fr) — Calotes bhutanensis (fr) — Basketball Federation of Bhutan (fr) — Bhutan at the Asian Indoor Games (nl)
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In the news

Wikinews
  • Ten dead after earthquake in Bhutan on September 2009
More current events...
Current events on Wikinews

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Did you know?

... that the Phobjika Valley welcomes the Black-necked Cranes as winter visitors from Tibet, in Bhutan, and in the process the cranes circle the Gangteng Monastery (pictured) thrice on arrival and again on departure?
... that Koji Gyotoku is the coach of the Bhutan national football team?

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