Kingdom in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. Bhutan was under Tibetan rule from the 16th century. In 1910 it became a British protectorate. In 1949 it became independent, although it continues to be guided in foreign relations by India, with whom it carries on 99 percent of its commerce. Since 1966, Bhutan has issued large numbers of attractive (and philatelically inspired) stamps. Among the novel forms these issues have taken are: gold, silver and steel foil, designs printed on silk, 3-D plastic stamps and souvenir sheets, miniature plastic records, plastic bas-relief and designs printed on rose-scented paper.