Bhutan lies in South-Asia, between India and China. With a total surface area of 46.500 square kilometers, it has about the size of Switzerland, but only roughly 670.000 inhabitants. The common border with India is 605 kilometers long and the one with China is 470 kilometers. Its geographic coordinates are: 27 30 N, 90 30 E.


The climatic conditions in the various parts of the country are very diverse. In the south the climate is predominately sub-tropical or tropical. The valleys of Central Bhutan have a moderate climate with cool winters and hot summers. In the mountains, the winters are extremely harsh and the summers are rather cool. During the rainy season, especially in the southern parts of the country, extreme flooding frequently occurs.



The topography of the country is primarily mountainous with a few fertile valleys and savannahs. Only two percent of the total surface area is suitable for agriculture. Six percent of the land is used for pasture. The largest part of the surface area of Bhutan is occupied by forests and woods. Only 340 square kilometers of Bhutan are artificially irrigated.

The natural resources of Bhutan are wood and it has a huge potential in hydraulic energy. A few important power plant projects are currently being developed.

The Political System
The Economy of Bhutan
The Population

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Only 100 kilometers south of the Himalayan mountain range, close to the border city of Phuntsholing, the foothills merge into the fertile plateaus of Bengal.
Photograph by Guy van Strydonck

Aerial photograph of the terraced fields of the Paro valley in October, when the chiles are placed on the roof to dry.
Photograph by Gerald Navara

At 4000 meters altitude, the village Thanza in Lunana lies in a grand and arid landscape. Here yak breeding provides the most important source of livelihood.
Photograph by Robert Dompnier