Consulate General of Bhutan in the United
2 UN Plaza, 27th Floor, New York NY 10017.
Telephone : (212) 826-1919
Fax : (212) 826-2998.
The Kingdom of Bhutan (also Bootan)
is a landlocked South Asian nation situated between India and Tibet,
People's Republic of China. The entire country is mountainous except
for an 8-10 mile (13-16 km) wide strip of subtropical plains in
the extreme south which is intersected by valleys known as the Duars.
The elevation gain from the subtropical plains to the glacier-covered
Himalayan heights exceeds 23,000 feet (7,000 m). Its traditional
economy is based on forestry, animal husbandry and subsistence agriculture
however these account for less than 50% of a GDP now that Bhutan
has become an exporter of hydroelectricity. Cash crops, tourism,
and development aid (the latter mostly from India) are also significant.
An extensive census done in April, 2006 resulted in a population
figure of 672,425. Thimphu is the capital and largest city.
Bhutan is one of the most isolated nations in the
world; foreign influences and tourism are heavily regulated by the
government to preserve its traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture.
Most Bhutanese follow either the Drukpa Kagyu or the Nyingmapa school
of Tibetan Buddhism. The official language is Dzongkha (lit. "the
language of the dzong"). Bhutan is often described as the last
surviving refuge of traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. Non-Buddhists
complain of human rights violations; approximately 100,000 ethnic
Nepali (who are generally Hindu) left the country in the 1980s because
they were unhappy with new government policies designed to reduce
the growing illegal immigration from Nepal.
Bhutan has been a monarchy since 1907. The different
dzongkhags were united under the leadership of the Trongsa Penlop.
The current king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, has made some moves toward
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