Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms until the early 17th century, when the lama and military leader Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, fleeing religious persecution in Tibet, unified the area and cultivated a distinct Bhutanese identity. Later, in the early 20th century, Bhutan came into contact with the British Empire and retained strong bilateral relations with India upon its independence. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest 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 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi) in 2002. Bhutan's state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism and the population, now (as of 2012/2013) estimated to be nearly three-quarters of a million, is predominantly Buddhist. Hinduism is the second-largest religion.
|3 little monks by fabio barbato|
|Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Paro, Bhutan by hktang|
|untitled by Kawee.Meksongruek|
|Bhutan-Alpha7-76 by Purple Field|
|untitled by MattieC.|
|Black Hat Dancers by Jim at Fotosyn|
|Yashica Electro GL by route522|
|Ritual Mask Dance by footaleufoo|
|archery 02 by chutpix|
|Tsechu Festival, Wangdi Dzong, Bhutan by miyamiyamiyamiya|
|Prayer wheels by longwei66 - shadowgraphy.org|