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Bhutan Geography 1999

    Location: Southern Asia, between China and India

    Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E

    Map references: Asia

    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)