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|Kingdom of Bhutan -
Brug rGyal-Khab (Wylie)
||Flag - Emblem
||Capital - Thimphu
||Official language(s) - Dzongkha
||People : - Bhutanese
||Government : - Constitutional democratic monarchy
||King - Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
||Prime Minister : - Jigme Y. Thinley
||Formation - Early 17th century
||Wangchuk Dynasty - 17 December 1907
||Constitutional Monarchy - 2007
||Area Total : 38,394 km|
14,824 sq mi)
|Water (%) - <1 (estimate
||Population : July estimate in 2009 : 691,141
- 1 ] - - (163rd
||2005 census - 634,982
- Density : 18.1/km (154th)|
|GDP = Purchasing power parity PPP : estimate in 2009 : Total : $3.518 billion
- 3 ] - - Per capita : $5,212
- 3 ] -
||GDP (nominal) - estimate in 2009 : Total : $1.269 billion
- 3 ] - - Per capita : $1,880
- 3 ] -
||HDI (2007) - - 0.619
- 4 ] - - ( medium - ) (132nd
||Currency : - Ngultrum (BTN)
||Time zone : - BTT - (UTC) +6:00) -
||Summer (DST) - not observed (UTC) +6:00
||Internet Domain name TLD - .bt
||Calling code + 975
||- The population of Bhutan had been estimated based on the reported figure of about 1 million in the 1970s when the country had joined the United Nations and precise statistics were lacking.
- 5 ] - - Thus using the annual increase rate of 2–3%, the most population estimates were around 2 million in the year 2000. A national census was carried out in 2005 and it turned out that the population was 672,425. Consequently, United Nations Population Division had down-estimated the country's population in the 2006 revision
- 6 ] - - for the whole period from 1950 to 2050.
||- Indian rupee is also legal tender
||Map Latitude : 27°25′01″N - Longitude : 90°26′06″E - / - 27.417°N 90.435°E - 27.417;90.435 - - The Kingdom of Bhutan (pronounced /buːˈtɑːn/ - ) is a landlocked country in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby state of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by West Bengal. The Bhutanese called their country Druk Yul (Dzongkha:འབྲུག་ཡུལ་ 'drug yul - ) which means "Land of Dragon".
||Bhutan used to be one of the most isolated countries in the world. Developments including direct international flights, the Internet, mobile phone networks, and cable television have increasingly modernized the urban areas of the country. Bhutan balanced modernization with its ancient culture and traditions under the guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Rampant destruction of the environment has been avoided. The government takes great measures to preserve the nation's traditional culture, identity and the environment. In 2006, Business Week magazine rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world, citing a global survey conducted by the University of Leicester in 2006 called the "World Map of Happiness".
- 7 ] - -
||Bhutan's landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the second-largest religion. The capital and largest city is Thimphu. After centuries of direct monarchic rule, the King voluntarily abdicated himself for his son and devolved power to the people. Bhutan held its first democratic elections in March 2008 and Druk Phumtshum Tshogpa (Peace and Prosperous Party) won by a landslide margin (winning 45 out of the 47 seats). Among other international associations, Bhutan is a member of the United Nations and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and hosted the Sixteenth SAARC summit in April 2010. The total area of the country is currently 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi).
||1 - Name -
||2.1 - Democratic reform and modernization -
||4 - Military and foreign affairs -
||5 - Geography -
||6 - Economy -
||7 - Districts -
||8 - Cities and towns -
||9 - Demographics -
||9.1 - Religion -
||11 - International rankings -
||12 - See also -
||13 - References -
||14 - Further reading -
|| - Name
||Bhutan" may be derived from the Sanskrit word Bhu-Utthan (भू-उत्थान;highlands). In another theory of Sanskritisation, Bhoṭa-anta (भोट-अन्त) means "At the end of Tibet", as Bhutan is immediately to Tibet's south.
||Historically Bhutan was known by many names, such as Lho Mon (southern land of darkness), Lho Tsendenjong (southern land of the Tsenden cypress), Lhomen Khazhi (southern land of four approaches) and Lho Men Jong (southern land of medicinal herbs).
- 9 ] - -
|| - History -
||History of Bhutan
||Stone tools, weapons, elephants, and remnants of large stone structures provide evidence that Bhutan was inhabited as early as 2000 BC, although there are no existing records from that time. Historians have theorized that the state of Lhomon (literally, "southern darkness", a reference to the indigenous Mon religion), or Monyul ("Dark Land", a reference to the Monpa, the aboriginal peoples of Bhutan) may have existed between 500 BC and AD 600. The names Lhomon Tsendenjong (Sandalwood Country), and Lhomon Khashi , or Southern Mon (country of four approaches), have been found in ancient Bhutanese and Tibetan chronicles.
- 10 ] - -
||The earliest transcribed event in Bhutan was the passage of the Buddhist saint Padma Sambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) in 747. Bhutan's early history is unclear, because most of the records were destroyed after fire ravaged the ancient capital, Punakha, in 1827.
- 12 ] - - By the 10th century, Bhutan's political development was heavily influenced by its religious history. Various sub-sects of Buddhism emerged which were patronized by the various Mongol warlords. After the decline of the Mongols in the 14th century, these sub-sects vied with each other for supremacy in the political and religious landscape, eventually leading to the ascendancy of the Drukpa sub-sect by the 16th century.
||Until the early 17th century, Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms, when the area was unified by the Tibetan lama and military leader Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who fled religious persecution in Tibet. To defend the country against intermittent Tibetan forays, Namgyal built a network of impregnable dzong (fortresses), and promulgated a code of law that helped to bring local lords under centralized control. Many such dzong still exist and are active centers of religion and district administration. PortugueseJesuitEstêvão Cacella and another priest were the first recorded Europeans to visit Bhutan on their way to Tibet. They met with Ngawang Namgyal, presented him with firearms, gunpowder and a telescope, and offered him their services in the war against Tibet, but the Shabdrung declined the offer. After a stay of nearly eight months Cacella wrote a long letter from the Chagri Monastery reporting on his travels. This is a rare extant report of the Shabdrung.
||After Namgyal's death in 1651, Bhutan fell into civil war. Taking advantage of the chaos, the Tibetans attacked Bhutan in 1710, and again in 1730 with the help of the Mongols. Both assaults were successfully thwarted, and an armistice was signed in 1759.
||Map of Bhutan.
||A thrikheb (throne cover) from the 19th century. Throne covers were placed atop the temple cushions used by high lamas. The central circular swirling quadrune is the Gankyil in its mode as the "Four Joys".
||In the 18th century, the Bhutanese invaded and occupied the kingdom of Cooch Behar to the south. In 1772, Cooch Behar appealed to the British East India Company which assisted them in ousting the Bhutanese, and later in attacking Bhutan itself in 1774. A peace treaty was signed in which Bhutan agreed to retreat to its pre-1730 borders. However, the peace was tenuous, and border skirmishes with the British were to continue for the next 100 years. The skirmishes eventually led to the Duar War (1864–1865), a confrontation for control of the BengalDuars. After Bhutan lost the war, the Treaty of Sinchula was signed between British India and Bhutan. As part of the war reparations, the Duars were ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for a rent of Rs. 50,000. The treaty ended all hostilities between British India and Bhutan.
||During the 1870s, power struggles between the rival valleys of Paro and Tongsa led to civil war in Bhutan, eventually leading to the ascendancy of Ugyen Wangchuck, the ponlop (governor) of Tongsa. From his power base in central Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck defeated his political enemies and united the country following several civil wars and rebellions in the period 1882–1885.
||In 1907, an epochal year for the country, Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously chosen as the hereditary king of the country by an assembly of leading Buddhist monks, government officials, and heads of important families. The British government promptly recognized the new monarchy, and in 1910 Bhutan signed a treaty which "let" Great Britain "guide" Bhutan's foreign affairs. In reality, this did not mean much given Bhutan's historical reticence. It also did not seem to apply to Bhutan's traditional relations with Tibet.
||After India gained independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, Bhutan became one of the first countries to recognize India's independence. A treaty similar to that of 1910 in which Britain gained power with respect to Bhutan's foreign relations was signed 8 August 1949 with the newly independent India.
||The Trongsa Dzong.
||In 1953, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck established the country's legislature – a 130-member National Assembly – to promote a more democratic form of governance. In 1965, he set up a Royal Advisory Council, and in 1968 he formed a Cabinet. In 1971, Bhutan was admitted to the United Nations, having held observer status for three years. In July 1972, Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascended to the throne at the age of 16 after the death of his father, Dorji Wangchuck.
||Beginning in 1985 Bhutan expelled nearly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis, the status of whom has been a source of ongoing debate;many claim to be descended from 19th and early 20th century Nepali immigrants, whereas the government of Bhutan claims they are recent illegal immigrants. The Bhutanese refugees were granted refuge in neighboring Nepal. Beginning early 2008 the refugees are being relocated in various countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands.
||In late 2003, the Bhutanese army successfully launched a large-scale operation to flush out anti-India insurgents who were operating training camps in southern Bhutan.
|| - Democratic reform and modernization
||King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced significant political reforms, transferring most of his administrative powers to the Council of Cabinet Ministers and allowing for impeachment of the King by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.
||In 1999, the government lifted a ban on television and the Internet, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television. In his speech, the King said that television was a critical step to the modernisation of Bhutan as well as a major contributor to the country's Gross National Happiness (Bhutan is the only country to measure happiness
- 15 ] - - ), but warned that the "misuse" of television could erode traditional Bhutanese values.
- 16 ] - -
||A new constitution was presented in early 2005. In December 2005, Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced that he would abdicate the throne in his son's favor in 2008. On 14 December 2006, he announced that he would be abdicating immediately. Bhutan has now entered a new era of democracy, starting with its first national parliamentary elections in December 2007 and March 2008.
||On November 6, 2008, 28-year old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, eldest son of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, was crowned King, thus marking a new era in the history of this Himalayan kingdom.
- 17 ] - -
|| - Government and politics -
||Politics of Bhutan
||View of Tashichoedzong, Thimphu, seat of the Bhutanese government since 1952.
||Bhutan's political system has developed from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy. In 1999, the fourth king of Bhutan created a body called the Lhengye Zhungtshog (Council of Ministers). The 'Druk Gyalpo' (King of Druk Yul) is head of state. Executive power is exercised by the Lhengye Zhungtshog, the council of ministers. Legislative power was vested in both the government and the former Grand National Assembly.
||On the 17th of December 2005, the 4th King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, announced to a stunned nation that the first general elections would be held in 2008, and that he would abdicate the throne in favor of his eldest son, the crown prince.
- 18 ] - - King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck took the throne on December 14, 2006 upon his father's abdication. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was adorned with Bhutan's Raven Crown at an ornate coronation ceremony in Thimphu on Thursday, November 6, 2008, becoming the world's youngest reigning monarch and head of the newest democracy.
- 19 ] - -
||The new democratic system comprises an upper and lower house, the latter based on political party affiliations. Elections for the upper house (National Council) were held on December 31, 2007, while elections for the lower house, the 47-seat National Assembly, were held on March 24, 2008. Two political parties, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Sangay Ngedup, and the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) headed by Jigmi Thinley, competed in the National Assembly election. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa won the elections taking 45 out of 47 seats in the parliament.
- 20 ] - -
||Judicial power is vested in the courts of Bhutan. The Chief Justice is the administrative head of the Judiciary.
|| - Military and foreign affairs -
||Military of Bhutan and Foreign relations of Bhutan
||The Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan's military service. It includes the Royal Bodyguard and the Royal Bhutan Police. Membership is voluntary, and the minimum age for recruitment is 18. The standing army numbers about 6,000 and is trained by the Indian Army.
- 21 ] - - It has an annual budget of about US$13.7 million — 1.8 percent of the GDP. Being a landlocked country, Bhutan has no navy.
||In 2007, Bhutan and India signed a new treaty that clarified that Bhutan was master of its own foreign relations, superseding the treaty signed in 1949. The superseded treaty is still sometimes misinterpreted to mean that India controls Bhutan's foreign affairs, but the government of Bhutan handles all of its own foreign affairs, including the sensitive (to India) border demarcation issue with China. Bhutan has diplomatic relations with 21 countries, and with the European Union, with missions in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Kuwait. It has two UN missions, one in New York and one in Geneva. Only India and Bangladesh have residential embassies in Bhutan, while Thailand has a consulate office in Bhutan.
||By a long standing treaty, Indian and Bhutanese citizens may travel to each other's countries without a passport or visa using their national identity cards instead. Bhutanese citizens may also work in India without legal restriction. Bhutan does not have formal diplomatic ties with its northern neighbour, the People's Republic of China, although exchanges of visits at various levels between the two have significantly increased in recent times. The first bilateral agreement between China (PRC) and Bhutan was signed in 1998, and Bhutan has also set up honorary consulates in Macau and Hong Kong. Bhutan’s border with China is largely not demarcated and thus disputed in some places. Approximately 269 square kilometers remain under discussion between China and Bhutan.
- 22 ] - -
||On 13 November 2005, Chinese soldiers crossed into the disputed territories between China and Bhutan, and began building roads and bridges.
- 23 ] - - Bhutanese Foreign Minister Khandu Wangchuk took up the matter with Chinese authorities after the issue was raised in the Bhutanese parliament. In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang of the People's Republic of China has said that the border remains in dispute and that the two sides are continuing to work for a peaceful and cordial resolution of the dispute.
- 24 ] - - An Indian intelligence officer has said that a Chinese delegation in Bhutan told the Bhutanese that they were "overreacting." The Bhutanese newspaper Kuensel has said that China might use the roads to further Chinese claims along the border.
- 23 ] - -
||On 8 February 2007, the |