Geography of Bhutan

Bhutan is located towards the eastern extreme of the Himalayan range, between China on the north and India on the south. A small landlocked country, its total area is 46,500 square kilometers, divided into 20 districts and 205 village blocks, which are further divided into numerous municipalities. The entire country is mountainous, and ranges in elevation from 100 m along the Indian border to the 7,554 m Kulha Gangri Peak on the Tibetan border, thus forming a landscape that stretches from sub-tropical to arctic-like conditions. Physically, Bhutan can be separated into three geographic regions: the great Himalayas, the inner Himalayas, and the southern foothills. The great Himalayan region extends from Mt. Chomolhari in the west to Kulha Gangri and is dominated by the mountains. Almost 20 percent of the land in the region is under perpetual snow. Extreme weather and high winds are some of the features of the region. The largest geographic region of Bhutan, the inner Himalayas, ranges from 1,100 m to 3,000 m in elevation. All the major towns of Bhutan, such as Thimpu, Paro, and Punakha, are situated in this region. The southernmost part of the country is rich in vegetation, particularly tropical forests. This region is largely agricultural, and rice is the major crop produced.

Bhutan is one of the top countries with the most intact ecosystems in the world. Over fifty-five hundred varieties of plants, more than seven hundred seventy species of avifauna, and more than 165 species of mammals are known to exist in the country.