The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small country located to the eastern side of the mighty Himalayas at 27º28.0’N and 89º38.5’E in South Asia. It is a landlocked country and has the two Asian giants China (to the north) and India (to the east, west and south) as its neighbors. This Himalayan kingdom has an area of 14,824 square miles and a population of 708,427 (2011 estimate). The main ethnic groups of Bhutan are Ngalops, Sharchops, and a Nepalese ethnic group called Lhotshampas in Dzongkha. The terrain of Bhutan is mountainous for the most part, but there are also some beautiful valleys and grasslands. The climate is tropical in the south while the central part experiences cool winters and hot summers. In the north, the winters are severe and summers are cool. Bhutan is rich in natural resources such as hydropower, timber, gypsum, and calcium carbonate. It is also rich in flora and fauna and is home to many rare species of animals such as the Golden Langor
Before the 17th century Bhutan was a mere collection of minor fiefdoms. These fiefdoms were unified by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who is held in great esteem by the Bhutanese. The current Wangchuk dynasty came to power in 1907 and in 2008, Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy with Parliamentary democracy, a move initiated by the fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, father of the present king
Bhutan is a member of the United Nations and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is a developing nation, untouched by the tides of modernity till 1970s. A number of measures have been taken to modernize it while preserving the rich Buddhist heritage of the country. Bhutan is also famous for being the first country in the world to adopt the new indicator of holistic quality of life, the Gross National Happiness (GNH), a concept coined by its King Jigme Singye Wangchuk.