Location - Climate
Surrounded by the Himalayas, Bhutan is a small South Asian country sandwiched between India and Tibet. Bhutans geography consists mostly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which form deep valleys before draining into the Indian plains. The land rises from 200 meters above sea level in the southern foothills to 7000 meters high northern mountains.
The climate varies hot subtropical in south to cold alpine slopes in the north. Human settlement is confined mostly to interior river valleys and a swath of southern plains; nomads and other tribes live in the north, raising sheep, cattle and yaks. Bhutan straddle two major bio-geographic realms, the Indo-Malayan realm consisting of the lowland rain forests of South and Southeast Asia and the Pale-arctic realm consisting of conifer forests and alpine meadows of northern Asia and Europe.
Geographically, Bhutan is divided into three zones: the southern zone, which has low foothills that are covered with dense tropical forests; the central zone, which primarily consists of fertile valleys at altitudes that range from 3,500 to 10,000 feet (1,060 to 3,050 meters); and the northern zone, which has valleys at heights that range from 11,000 to 28,000 feet (3,350 to 8,535 meters). It is this northern section that forms part of the Himalayas with its high peaks along the Tibetan borders.
The largest percentage of the population lives in the central zone. The federal capital of Thimphu is located along the river of the same name in this section of the country.