Bhutan is a small landlocked country in South Asia at the end of eastern Himalayas. It is bordered with China on the north and India in the south, east and west.
Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefs until the early 17th century. In 17th century, a great saint Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, often called Zhabdrung Rinpoche, cultivated a distinct Bhutanese identity and flourished Buddhism in the country. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest country in the world.
Bhutan’s landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, where some peaks exceed 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Its total area was reported as approximately 46,500 km2 (18,000 sq mi) in 1997 and 38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi) in 2002. Bhutan’s state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism and the population, as of 2015 estimated as 770 thousand people, is predominantly Buddhist. Hinduism is the second-largest religion.
In 2008, Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election. As well as being a member of the United Nations, Bhutan is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and hosted SAARC’s sixteenth summit in April 2010.