Bhutan State Overview


Although the Kula Kangri (7,544 m) was typically considered the highest mountain in the country. Subsequent topographic studies have concluded that the summit is entirely in China. According to these the highest peak would be the Gankhar Puensum at 7,540 m. Other distinctive mountains are the Black Mountains in the center of the country from 1,500 to 2,700 m. In the south we have the Silawik hills that reach 1500 m are covered with deciduous forests There are three areas in the country: the high mountains, in the north, the deep valleys between these mountains and the low areas in the south, which are reminiscent of the predominant landscape in neighboring India. All rivers are part of the Brahmaputra river basin. None of them are navigable. The country is distinguished by four hydrographic systems: Drangme Chhu, in the east which is the most important; the Puna Tsang Chhu, also called Sankosh; the Wang Chhu; and Master Chhu. They run rapidly, generally in a southerly direction.

At the bottom of the many mountain glaciers there are numerous lakes. There are more and more and in greater numbers due to the increase in average temperatures. These glaciers that cover up to 10% of the surface and the monsoon rains are what feed the many rivers of the country. The climate varies from subtropical in the Duars Plain, to temperate, with cold winters and warm summers, in the valleys of the central mountains. In the Himalayas the winters are severe and the summers cool. It gets more inclement as you climb the higher elevations. Like most Asian countries it is affected by the monsoon. This is affected first in summer by the Southwest monsoon, which brings a lot of humidity. During part of the autumn this monsoon is prolonged in part.

About 165 species of animals exist, including very rare and endangered species such as the red panda, snow leopard, and golden langur; It houses important populations of Takin, which is its national animal. In 2000 just over 20% of the area was protected. The most important protected areas are: Jigme Dorji which comprises almost the entire border area with China, Raga National Park, Black Mountain, Thumsing La and Royal Manas in Bhutan, which means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”, takes its name from the violent storms that occur in the Himalayas. During the rainy season there are frequent landslides. The main environmental problems are soil erosion as well as the low availability of drinking water and sanitary facilities. In addition, population growth is increasing the demand for firewood, and the pressure on land usable for grazing and agriculture. However, conserving the environment is part of government policy and popular tradition.

Government and politics

It is currently a parliamentary monarchy. The monarch Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was elected king after the independence of India; he is considered the father of the Nation, due to his development plans. His successor Jigme Singye Wangchuck was concerned during his reign with the culture of the kingdom and the care of the environment. In 2004 it banned smoking throughout the kingdom. Jigme Singye Wangchuck was crowned in July 1972 and reigned until December 15, 2006, the date of his abdication, handing over the throne to his son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. The news was known through a decree written by the same monarch. The Government of Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 1994.

Day 6 of November of 2008 the King laid on the head of the king ‘s 28 – year traditional shaped crown crow making it the fifth dragon of the Wangchuck dynasty, this symbolic scene took place at 08.31 local time (02.31 GMT), the moment foreseen by the astrologers of the Royal House, who recommended that the monarch postpone his coronation until 2008, despite the fact that he could have been crowned last year after the abdication of his father. It is a country that, after its independence from India, continued with a treaty already signed with the English that declared that India would take care of its foreign relations, but would not intervene in its internal affairs. Other articles of the treaty specify that there is freedom of trade between the two countries.

The current monarch is the fifth in a dynasty established on December 17, 1907. De facto independence occurred on August 8, 1949. Elections in March 2008 saw Jigmi Thinley’s Bhutan Welfare Party (DPT) win 44 out of 47 seats in the Lower House of Parliament. Thinley was born in 1950 and has university studies in the United States. Executive power The king, who in Bhutan receives the title of Druk Gyalpo (King of the Dragon) is the head of state and the head of government. The current king, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, is advised by a Royal Council of Advisors, whose members he appoints. After centuries of absolute monarchy with theocratic characteristics, Bhutan had its first democratic elections in March 2008.


According to Countryaah, the state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, the population being predominantly Buddhist, followed by the other most important religion (and prevalent in the southern lowlands) is Hinduism.

Bhutan State Overview