Bhutan Country Information
Bhutan is one of the most mysterious countries on the planet, which has only recently become available for tourism. A fantastic country lying in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas and barely touched by the passage of time, it has been in almost complete isolation from the outside world for many centuries. The very name of the country – Bhutan or Bhutan, can be translated from Sanskrit as “the outskirts of Tibet”. The doors of Bhutan were barely opened in 1974, and since then it has been a long-awaited dream of many travelers. Set aside from noisy roads, this country, which the locals call Druk-Yul or “Land of the Thunder Dragons”, remained a quiet haven for the greatest disciples of Buddhism. Some of the oldest forests on the planet and unique species of flora and fauna have been preserved here, and a completely wild landscape is torn apart only by the “dzongs” characteristic of Bhutan. – huge fortified monasteries, famous for their architecture and traditions. The Bhutanese themselves, who, unlike other countries in the region, are quite few, are open, hospitable, completely unspoiled by the modern world and carefully preserve their unique culture.
According to DIGOPAUL.COM, the Kingdom of Bhutan is located in the eastern part of the Himalayas and borders in the North with Tibet and in the South with India (the states of Assam and West Bengal). The total area of the kingdom is 47 thousand square kilometers and is comparable to the size of Switzerland. This country is located in the heart of the Himalayan range and has no access to the sea. The territory of Bhutan is divided into three main natural regions, which differ primarily in relief. In the south, there is a wavy piedmont sandy-pebble plain 15-25 km wide (even narrower in some places). To the north are the heavily dissected Lesser Himalayas with altitudes up to 3500-4000 m; the length of this region from north to south is 65-80 km. The Lesser Himalayas consist of a series of parallel ridges, elongated in the meridional direction, abruptly breaking off in the south and smoothly turning into the Greater Himalayas in the north. The Rinak ridge (“black mountains”) with the highest point of 4650 m stands out the most. It separates Western and Eastern Bhutan and serves not only as an important natural boundary, but also as an ethno-cultural barrier. The only road in these mountains goes through the Pelela pass (3300 m). The rivers (Vang, Sunkosh, Trongsa and Manas) cut numerous longitudinal valleys between the ridges, usually located at altitudes from 1500 to 2150 m. Many valleys are distinguished by fertile soils. Most of the population of Bhutan is concentrated here. The northern region is a belt of the Great Himalayas 16 km wide. These are high mountains with the highest peak Kula-Kangri (7554 m). The snow line is located at an altitude of 4400 m. Glaciation is widely developed, the ends of the glaciers descend far down the valleys.
Climate and vegetation
The climate and vegetation change dramatically depending on the height, steepness and location of the slopes in relation to the sun. In the lower belt of mountains (up to 1100 m), in the valleys and on the plains, the climate is hot, humid, with heavy rainfall. The predominant landscapes – swampy jungles (duars) – are distinguished by a wide variety of flora and fauna. These are dense impenetrable evergreen thickets of mimosas, bananas, palms and bamboos with an abundance of vines and epiphytes. There are tigers, elephants, monkeys, snakes. The area is teeming with mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects. At altitudes of 1100-2300 m, winters are cool, and summers are warm (often hot) and rainy, especially on the southern slopes. Here, along with tropical species, subtropical species of evergreen and deciduous trees appear – oaks, magnolias, maples, chestnuts.
At altitudes of 2300-4400 m, with an ascent to the mountains, deciduous forests are replaced by coniferous (pine, cedar, spruce), and then subalpine and alpine meadows. At the upper border of the forest there are thickets of rhododendron and juniper. In the upper forest belt of the mountains, a black Himalayan bear is often found. The most famous animals of the highlands are various goats, rams, containers, and snow leopards are predators. The wild yak has survived. Carrion-eating birds of prey (vultures, vultures, bearded vultures) are typical.
A third of Bhutan’s area is covered by protected areas. Along the northern border are the reserves of Gaza, Jigmi-Dorji and Laya, along the southern – Manas. The Khaling, Mochu and Pochu forest reserves, the Goli faunal reserve and the Doga National Park have also been established.
Best time to visit
It is best to visit the country from mid-March to mid-June and from mid-September to mid-November. At the end of June, the monsoon season begins, which lasts until mid-September. After the last of the big rains, autumn suddenly comes, the best time for trekking. Winter begins in November and lasts until mid-March. At this time, the air is dry, the days are sunny with clear skies and temperatures between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius. At night the temperature drops below zero. In winter, it is best to visit the capital and the south of the country.
Average temperatures in different areas of Bhutan (highest / lowest), C°