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Part One Overview




Between 260 45’N and 280 10’N latitudes, and between 880 45’E and 920 10’E longitudes.  Altitude ranges from  about 150 m to 7,550 m.

Time zone:

Add six hours to Greenwich Mean Time; add 30 minutes to Delhi time; subtract one hour from Bangkok time.


Ngultrum (Nu) = 100 chetrum.  The Ngultrum is pegged at parity to the Indian rupee.  The exchange rate was Nu 44:US$1 and Nu 57:Euro 1 in mid-January 2007. For updates, please consult: www.rma.gov.bt.


38,394sq km

Land boundaries

1,075 km (border with India extends 605 kms; border with China 470 km)


634,982 (Population and Housing Census of Bhutan 2005: www.bhutancensus.gov.bt)

Female: 47.5%; Male: 52.5%

Population density

16 inhabitants per sq km




Monarchy. From 2008, Bhutan will become a Constitutional Monarchy.

Administrative divisions known as Dzongkhags

20 Dzongkhags: Bumthang, Chhukha, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuntse, Mongar, Paro,Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Zhemgang, Thimphu,Tsirang, Trashigang, Trashi Yangtse, Trongsa and Wangdiphodrang.

Principal languages:

Dzongkha (official language); Sharchopkha (east); Nepali (south - but spoken widely elsewhere), English widely spoken & understood

Principal religions:

75% of the population practises Bhuddism; 25% are Hindus.

Information technology

Mostly dial-up. Broadband being introduced. Ministries expect to be on broadband network by mid-2007. Druknet is the only ISP under the supervision of the Bhutan Telecommunications Authority.  Two private ISPs exist: Drukcom and Samden Tech.


Mobile phones

Currently one provider: B-Mobile (operated by the national Authority). Tashi Commer-cial Co, a large Bhutanese firm, recently won the tender (auction) for the second mobile licence.  80,000 users at end-2006.  Spectrum availability tight.

Literacy rate:

National literacy rate: 59.5% . Female: 48.7%; Male: 69.1%  (people aged 6 years and above).  (Population and Housing Census 2005). 


Metric system

Business hours:

Business hours: summer: 0900-1700  Monday - Friday (government offices); + half day Saturday (banks, post offices). Winter hours (1/11-1/3): 0900-1600 (government).


21 February: Fifth King’s birthday. 17 December: National Day.  2 June: Coronation Day.  Various Buddhist Festivals throughout the year (dates vary).

Credit cards:

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in a few selected shops and hotels; a 5-7 % fee is often passed on to the cardholder.


Druk Air (www.drukair.com.bt) flies between Paro International Airport and Delhi ,Bangkok , Kathmandu, Gaya and Kolkata several times a week.


Paro International Airport (1.5 hours’ drive from Thimphu , the capital)

Road network

Road network: 4153 km (2004). New Thimphu - Phuentsholing highway, to open around 2010, should cut travel time from 6 hours to 3. Phuentsholing: main border crossing with India .


Bhutan is landlocked. Up to 3 dry ports are planned on the border with India . Kolkata ( India ) is the most commonly used port.  Limited air cargo space available on Druk Air.

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