Independent monarchy in the southeastern Himalayas, bounded north and east by Tibet, south by British India, west by Sikkim and the Tibetan district of Chumbi; estimated area, 20,000 square miles.
Polygamy and polyandry are practised, and the modified form of Buddhism professed by the majority of the people consists principally in propitiating evil spirits and reciting passages from the Tibetan scriptures.
From the 16th century the country was ruled jointly by a Dhama Rajah and a Deb Rajah, representing respectively the ecclesiastical and civil powers, which in 1907 were combined and entrusted to one ruler, a hereditary maharajah.
Policy in foreign relations is guided by the advice of the British government.
Bhutan is included with Assam and Manipur in the Prefecture Apostolic of Assam in charge of the Salesian Fathers, established in 1889.
New Catholic Dictionary