A map of Bhutan, showing highland and lowland areas and vegetationThe tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan lies high on the slopes of the eastern Himalayas. Nearly the entire country is covered by rugged, steep mountains; in the far north, some peaks are over 7300 metres (24,000 feet) high. These mountains are thickly forested, and cut through by deep river valleys. Along Bhutan’s southern border, the land levels out into warm, humid plains. The climate of the northern mountains is extremely cold and dry.
Buddhist monks perform a dance at a festival in Wangdi, Bhutan. The festival honours Padma Sambhava, who is credited with...Read More >>Buddhist monks perform a dance at a festival in Wangdi, Bhutan. The festival honours Padma Sambhava, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to Bhutan.
Bhutan’s population is split between Buddhist people of indigenous or Tibetan origin, and people of Nepali origin who are largely Hindu. In the late 1980s and 90s, the Bhutanese government ordered thousands of Nepali-Bhutanese to leave, a measure intended to keep Bhutan a Buddhist country. Today, some tensions remain, but Bhutanese people are legally free to practise any religion.
When King Jigme Singye Wangchuck lifted the ban on television in 1999, he warned that misuse of TV would erode traditional Bhutanese values.
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