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Six interesting facts about Bhutan

Bhutan is the kingdom in South Asia which is termed as ‘the roof of the world’. Along with Nepal it lies in a place that is above sea level near the world’s tallest mountain peaks. Here are a few facts regarding this landlocked country,

Bhutan is a Buddhist nation

The Bhutanese people are one of the most ardent and traditional Buddhists on the world. They follow Tibetan Buddhism and regard Mt.Meru as a very sacred mountain.

Bhutan is currently one of the world’s fastest growing economies

Starting in 2005, Bhutan’s economy has been growing at a very fast pace -at double digits, actually! This was largely due to investments in the country’s rich hydro-electric power potential and the tourism industry. More and more Bhutanese are also attending Indian universities and go back to Bhutan as professionals and skilled workers.

Bhutan actually has five seasons

Bhutan, being a very small country, actually experiences 5 distinct seasons in one year – spring, summer, autumn, winter, and monsoon. This nation experiences torrential monsoon rains between winter and the onset of spring, with its western portion experiencing more rain that the rest of the country.

Bhutan has one of the smallest standing armed forces in the world

Bhutan’s armed forces amounts to only 16,000 soldiers in total, and all are trained in terrestrial armed conflict only. In addition to this, Bhutan, being a landlocked country, has no standing navy and no standing air force. It heavily relies on India for the protection of its aerospace sovereignty and territory.

Bhutan is one of the countries that still has a high forest cover

Bhutan’s mountain slopes and tiny river valleys are crisscrossed by forest. In fact, Bhutan ranks in the world’s top 10 when it comes to the ratio of a nation’s forest cover and its total land area. As of 2006, 64% of Bhutan’s land area is still covered with forest.

The exact meaning and origin of the country’s name remains unknown

Historians and linguists still cannot agree as to the origin of the country’s name. Some say that the closest translation would be the Sanskrit word Bhota Anta which means end of Tibet. This corresponds rather well to the country’s geographical location – being in the southern slopes of the Tibetan mountains.

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