Portal:Bhutan

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Map of Bhutan

Bhutan (/bˈtɑːn/; འབྲུག་ཡུལ་ Druk Yul), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan (འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the state of Assam and North Bengal in the south. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center.

The independence of Bhutan has endured for centuries and it has never been colonized in its history. Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the Bhutanese state developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Headed by a spiritual leader known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the territory was composed of many fiefdoms and governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Following a civil war in the 19th century, the House of Wangchuck reunited the country and established relations with the British Empire. Bhutan fostered a strategic partnership with India during the rise of Chinese communism and has a disputed border with the People's Republic of China. In 2008, it transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and held the first election to the National Assembly of Bhutan. The National Assembly of Bhutan is part of the bicameral parliament of the Bhutanese democracy.

The country's landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north, where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The highest mountain in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum, which is also a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. There is also diverse wildlife in Bhutan.

In South Asia, Bhutan ranks first in economic freedom, ease of doing business, and peace; second in per capita income; and is the least corrupt country as of 2016. However, Bhutan continues to be a least developed country. Hydroelectricity accounts for the major share of its exports. The government is a parliamentary democracy; the head of state is the King of Bhutan, known as the "Dragon King". 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.

Bhutan is also notable for pioneering the concept of gross national happiness.


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Selected article

Druk Air Airbus A319 at Paro Airport, Bhutan
Druk Air Corporation Limited (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་མཁའ་འགྲུལ་ལས་འཛིན།, Wylie: 'brug mkha' 'grul las 'dzin), operating as Drukair — Royal Bhutan Airlines, is the national airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Founded in 1981, ten years after Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck gradually began to open up the kingdom from self-imposed isolation, and seven years after welcoming its first foreign visitors, the airline commenced operations in 1983 with flights from Calcutta to Paro utilising Dornier Do 228 aircraft. A switch to BAe 146-100 equipment occurred in November 1988, and in order to meet increased demand, those aircraft were replaced in 2004 with two Airbus A319s.
Druk Air is the only airline currently flying into Bhutan. The airline operates a modest scheduled flight network within the South Asian region from its base at Paro Airport in the western dzongkhag of Paro and currently consists of eight destinations in five countries.
Bhutan has drawn a Vision 2020 Plan, as part of its Five Year Development Plans targeting several sectors for development, which includes improved external air links by 2017 that would enable increase in income from tourism from 100% (by 2012) to 150% (2017) coupled with completion of second National Highway by 2017. It has also signed several memorandum of understandings with the Government of India not only to enhance airtraffic facilities and operations but also to help Bhutan during emergency situations of floods and earthquake affecting the Paro Airport.

Selected biography

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (Dzongkha: འཇིགས་མེད་གེ་སར་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་དབང་ཕྱུག་, born 21 February 1980) is the fifth Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan and head of the Wangchuck dynasty. He became king on 14 December 2006, and was officially crowned on 6 November 2008.Khesar is the eldest son of the fourth and previous Dragon King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and his father's third wife, Queen (Ashi) Tshering Yangdon. He has a younger sister, Princess Dechen Yangzom, and brother, Prince Jigme Dorji, as well as four half-sisters and three half-brothers.

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  • Ten dead after earthquake in Bhutan on September 2009
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