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Bhutan (formally the Kingdom of Bhutan) is a small, landlocked Buddhist constitutional monarchy in the eastern Himalayas, located between China's Tibetan autonomous region and India. Its terrain is largely mountainous, and its economy is based on agriculture and forestry. Bhutan's official national language is Dzongkha, and its multiethnic population, reported in the 2005 government census to be approximately 691,000, is 75% Buddhist and 25% Hindu.

Tantric Buddhism took root in Bhutan in the eighth century, superseding the indigenous Bon religion, which nevertheless subsists today in local practices. Ngawang Namgyel, a leader of the Drukpa Kagyupa (“Thunder Dragon”) sect of Tibetan Buddhism, unified the territory of Bhutan in the 17th century, establishing Bhutan as a sovereign state and endowing it with its Drukpa character. In the early ...

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