Geography

Bhutan is located in the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas; the kingdom is landlocked between the two great Asian civilizations, Tibet (China) to the north and the Indian States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim & West Bengal in the East, West, & South. The country lies between latitudes 26′ 45’N & 280″ 10’N, and longitudes 88′ 45′E & 92′ 10’E. It has a total area of 38,394 square kilometers.

The northern region consists of an arc of glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations. Most peaks in the north are over 23,000 feet (7,000 m) above sea level; the highest point is claimed to be the Kula Gangri, at 24,780 feet (7,553 m), but detailed topographic studies claim Kula Gangri is wholly in Tibet and modern Chinese measurements claim that Gangkhar Puensum, which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, is higher at 24,835 feet (7,570 m).The lowest point is in the valley of Dangme Chhu, where the river crosses the border with India. Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds.

The Black Mountains in central Bhutan form a watershed between two major river systems: the Mo Chhu and the Dangme Chhu. Peaks in the Black Mountains range between 4,900 feet and 8,900 feet (1,500 m and 2,700 m) above sea level, and fast-flowing rivers have carved out deep gorges in the lower mountain areas. Woodlands of the central region provide most of Bhutan’s forest production. The Torsa, Sunkosh, and Manas are the main rivers of Bhutan, flowing through this region. Most of the population lives in the central highlands

The climate in Bhutan varies with altitude, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow, in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.