Geography

bhutanmapThe kingdom of Bhutan is a sovereign county located in South Asia between China in the north and India in the south, east and west. About 70.5 percent of its total land area of 38,394 square kilometres is forested. The geographical coordinates are 27 30 N, 90 30 E. Bhutan lies 448 km north of Tropic of Cancer. Bhutan is divided into six agro-ecological zones: alpine, cool temperate, warm temperate, dry sub-tropical, humid sub-tropical and wet sub-tropical. Bhutan is mountainous with elevation ranging from 97 m to 8,000 m. The country can be divided into three geographical zones: the foothills, a 20-km wide strip in the south, rising to an altitude of 1,500 m; the middle mountains, rising to an altitude of 5,000 m; and the high mountains, with altitudes reaching 7,500 m. The highest mountains in the country are Jomolhari (7,541 m) and Kulagangri (7,314 m). Flat land is limited to foothills and few patches in the mid country. Bhutan’s steep mountains, deep gorges, and fast-flowing rivers create abundant hydroelectric potential, which the government began to develop in the 1960s.