It is believed that the name Bhutan is derived from the Sanskrit Bhotant, meaning 'the end of Tibet', or from Bhu-uttan, meaning 'high land'.
Historically the Bhutanese have referred to their country as Druk Yul, "land of the thunder dragon'.
Bhutanese refer to themselves as Drukpa people.
The kingdom of Bhutan lies in the eastern Himalayas, between Tibet to the north, the Indian territories of Assam and West Bengal to the south and east, and Sikkim to the west.
Bhutan has a total area of about 47,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Switzerland.
Located in the heart of the high Himalayan mountain range, Bhutan is a land-locked country.
The sparsely populated Greater Himalayas, bounded to the north by the Tibetan plateau, reach heights of over 7,300 meters (23,950 feet) and descend southward to form the fertile valleys of the Lesser Himalayas, divided by the Wang, Sunkosh, Trongsa, and Manas Rivers. Monsoons promote dense forestation in this region and alpine growth at higher altitudes.
The cultivated central uplands and Himalayan foothills support the majority of the population.
In the south, the Duars ('the gates' or 'doors'; the traditional 18 points of access into Bhutan from the Indian plain) drop sharply away from the Himalayas into the large tracts of semi-tropical forest, savannah grassland, and bamboo jungles.
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