Bhutan is a landlocked country. It
is about 47,000 kilometres - roughly the size of Switzerland. It
is located between Tibet in the north, Indian states of West Bengal
and Assam in the south, and Arunachal Pradesh in the east.
Bhutan has three major land
regions. The Great Himalayan region in the north rises more than
4300 m (14,000 ft) along the Tibetan border. This area is uninhabited
except for a few scattered settlements in the high valleys. The
Great Himalayas radiate southward into central Bhutan, creating
the Middle Himalayan zone.
The Middle Himalayas enclose
fertile valleys that have moderate rainfall and a temperate climate;
they are well populated and cultivated. South of the Middle Himalayan
valleys and foothills lies a large plain called the Duars. The northern
part of the Duars, including the foothills, is home to deer, lion,
leopards and the rare golden monkey as well as much tropical vegetation
including many species of wild orchids.
The southern section of the
Duars was once covered with dense savanna and bamboo jungle, but
has been largely cleared for rice cultivation. Bhutan is a land
of soaring snowcapped peaks, alpine meadows and densely forested
hills and ravines abounding in exotic flora and fauna.
From May to August, hills are
covered with an awesome variety of flowers decorated with waterfalls
and streams gushing in wild abandon.
Varies with altitude.
Days are normally warm. Nights can be quite chilly. Dry spring starts
in early March and lasts until mid-April. Summer weather commences
in mid-April with occasional showers and continues through the premonsoon
rains of late June.
The summer monsoon lasts
from late June through late September with heavy rains from the
southwest. The monsoon weather, blocked from its northward progress
by the Himalayas, brings heavy rains, high humidity, flash floods
and landslides, and numerous misty, overcast days.
Autumn, from late September
or early October to late November, follows the rainy season. From
late November until March, winter sets in, temperature is below