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Country Profile

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Location: Located in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by China in the north and the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and West Bengal in the east, west and south.

Area: 38,394 square kilometer
Altitude: Varying from 180 m – 7,550 m above sea level
Population: 695,822 (projected for 2010)
Local time: Six hours ahead of GMT and half and hour ahead of IST
Religion: Mahayana,Buddhism and Hinduism-70% Buddhist, 25% Hindu, 5% others
Capital City: Thimpu (Population: 90,000)
Language: Dzongkha, English, Sharchop, Nepali etc
Government: Democratic Constitutional Monarchy
King : His Majesty the fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Prime Minister: Jigme Y. Thinley (First PM after becoming democratically elected government)

NATIONAL FLAG : The National Flag is rectangular and divided diagonally into two parts with a white dragon in the middle. The upper yellow half signifies the country’s secular authority of the King in fruitful action in the affairs of religion and state. The lower saffron orange half signifies the religious practice and spiritual power of Buddhism manifested in the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingmapa traditions. The Dragon symbolizes the name of the country, locally known as Druk Yul meaning the land of Thunder Dragon and its white colour signifies purity and loyalty of the Bhutanese people. The national flag was created in 1947 by Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji and modified in 1956 to take its final shape.

NATIONAL EMBLEM : The National Emblem, contained in a circle is composed of double diamond thunderbolt placed above a lotus surmounted by a jewel and framed by two dragons. The double diamond thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power. The lotus symbolizes purity, the jewel – sovereign power and the two dragons – a male and a female stand for the name of the country – the Land of Thunder Dragon (Druk Yul)

National Day: National Day is celebrated on 17 December and commemorates the ascension to the throne of Ugyen Wangchuck, the first king of Bhutan , at Punakha Dzong on 17 December 1907.

National Flower: The national flower is the blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis), which grows at high altitudes.

National Tree: The national tree is the cypress (Cupressus torolusa), which is often associated with religious places. The Bhutanese identify with it because it is straight and strong and can grow in inhospitable soil.

National Bird: The national bird is the raven (Corvus corax) because it adorns the royal hat. It represents the deity Gonpo Jarodonchen (Mahakala with a raven\’s head), one of the most important guardian deities of Bhutan.

National Animal: The national animal is the takin (Burdorcas taxicolor), an extremely rare bovid mammal of the ovine-caprine family It lives in flocks in places 4,000 metres (over 13,125 feet) high, and eats bamboo. It can weigh as much as 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds).