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Thursday 23rd March
Bhutan Information - Page 1
Geography
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, between India and China.

Thimphu is the capital. Other cities include Paro and Phoentsholing.

The terrain is mainly mountainous with valleys and savanna. Rivers include the Manas, Raidak, Torsa and Sankosh.

The climate of Bhutan is varied: tropical in the southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in the central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in the Himalayas.

Environment
Jigme Dorji National Park is the largest protected area in Bhutan. Other National Parks include Royal Manas National Park (the oldest national park in Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and Thrimshingla National Park.

Animals found in the Parks are Himalayan black bears, Bengal tigers, elephants, snow leopards, wild boar and yaks.

Architecture
Bhutan is traditionally a Buddhist country. Religious buildings, and fortified monasteries known as dzongs, can be seen throughout the country.

Jambay Lhakhang, the seventh century monastery in Bumthang, is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan.

Bhutan's most famous monastery is Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) in Paro. Built on the side of a cliff, Taktsang is one of the most important religious sites in the Himalayas.

Population
The population of Bhutan was estimated at 682,321 in 2008.

Languages
Dzongkha is the official language in Bhutan. Tibetan and Nepalese dialects are spoken by some of the population.

Religion
Seventy-five percent of the people are Lamaistic Buddhist and twenty-five percent are Hindu.

Food
The cuisine of Bhutan is varied, according to ethnic group and religion.

Rice is a staple food. Cheese with chilli peppers is a national dish. Dried yak is eaten. Other meat includes chicken and pork.

Vegetables available are asparagus, beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes and spinach. Apples, apricots, pears, peaches and plums are grown.

Tea is salted with butter. Beer and wines are produced locally.

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