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Bhutan facts for kids

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Kingdom of Bhutan

  • འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་  (Dzongkha)
  • Druk Gyal Khap
Anthem: "Druk tsendhen" (Dzongkha)
"The Thunder Dragon Kingdom"
and largest city
27°28.0′N 89°38.5′E / 27.4667°N 89.6417°E / 27.4667; 89.6417
Official languages Dzongkha
74.8% Vajrayana Buddhism (state religion)
22.6% Hinduism
1.9% Bon and other indigenous faith
0.5% Christianity
0.4% Islam
0.2% Other
Demonym(s) Bhutanese
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Druk Gyalpo (monarch)
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Lotay Tshering
Legislature Parliament
National Council
National Assembly
• Unification of Bhutan
• House of Wangchuck
17 December 1907
8 August 1949
21 September 1971
• Constitutional monarchy
18 July 2008
• Total
38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi) (133rd)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
754,388 (165th)
• 2017 census
• Density
19.3/km2 (50.0/sq mi) (162nd)
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$7.701 billion
• Per capita
$9,426 (115th)
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.547 billion
• Per capita
$3,117 (130th)
Gini (2017) 37.4
HDI (2019) Increase 0.654
medium · 129th
Currency Ngultrum (BTN)
Time zone UTC+06 (BTT)
Driving side left
Calling code +975
ISO 3166 code BT
Internet TLD .bt

Bhutan (officially called Kingdom of Bhutan) is a small country in the Himalaya mountains of South Asia. It is ruled by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who has been king since 2006. Bhutan was founded in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Bhutanese people are proud that they have always been an independent country. Bhutan's capital city is Thimphu. The official language is Dzongkha.

About 700,000 people live in Bhutan. The people and government of Bhutan are proud of their culture which is based on Tibetan Buddhism. 97% of Bhutan's people are Buddhist.

Until 1974 Bhutan was closed to the outside world. Now people can visit the country, but only in small numbers. The only airport is in Paro district. The country is bordered on the south by the Republic of India and on the north by China. The Indian state of Sikkim separates Bhutan and Nepal. The main export of Bhutan is hydroelectricity which is sold to India. The economy of Bhutan is very small but is growing quickly. The currency is the Ngultrum, which is pegged at par with the Indian rupee.

National symbols of Bhutan



The Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan's military service. It includes the Royal Bodyguard and the Royal Bhutan Police. Membership is voluntary, and the minimum age for recruitment is 18. The standing army numbers about 16,000 and is trained by the Indian Army. Being a landlocked country, Bhutan has no navy. It also has no air force or army aviation corps. The Army relies on Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force for air assistance.


Takin, Thimphu mini-zoo
The Takin is Bhutan's national animal.

More than 770 species of bird and 5,400 species of plants are known to occur throughout the kingdom. Bhutan has a rich primate life with rare species such as the golden langur.

Administrative divisions

Bhutan is divided into 20 districts. Locally these are named dzongkhags. The districts are:


The major cities of Bhutan are:

  • Thimphu, the largest city and capital of Bhutan
  • Damphu, the administrative headquarters of Tsirang District
  • Jakar, the administrative headquarters of Bumthang District and the place where Buddhism entered Bhutan
  • Mongar, the eastern commercial hub of the country
  • Paro, site of the international airport
  • Phuentsholing, Bhutan's commercial hub
  • Punakha, the old capital
  • Samdrup Jongkhar The south eastern town on the border with India
  • Trashigang, administrative headquarters of Trashigang District the most populous district in the country
  • Trongsa, in central Bhutan which has the largest and the most magnificent of all the dzongs in Bhutan


Bhutan archery
Changlimithang Stadium, during a parade.

Bhutan's national sport is archery. Competitions are held regularly in most villages. Cricket has gained popularity in Bhutan, particularly since the introduction of television channels from India. The Bhutan national cricket team is one of the more successful affiliate nations in the region. Football is also an increasingly popular sport.

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