Encyclopedia > Geography of Bhutan

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Geography of Bhutan

Location: Southern Asia[?], between China and India

Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map references: Asia

Area:
total: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries:
total: 1,075 km
border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbide

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 6%
forests and woodland: 66%
other: 26% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 340 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: violent storms coming down from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Environment - current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

Reference Much of the material in this article was adapted from the CIA World Factbook 2000.



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