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Best Places to Visit in Bhutan for Indians

Published on: June 15, 2019 | Updated on: June 19, 2019
Bhutan Travel Places for Indians

Visit Bhutan

Situated in South Asia’s Eastern Himalayas, there’s an endlessly fascinating place on earth known as The kingdom of Bhutan, or Dzongkha. Bhutan has remained a country where age old customs and traditions are still part of everyday lives of the people, even while modernization, development and the strains of global influence are felt more and more. The small parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy shares its borders with China, India, Bangladesh,Nepal and is the second least populous nation after Maldives. It is the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom. The country offers a staggering variety of dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains, steep mountains, panoramic valleys, as well as an incredible abundant array of fauna and flora. Set within one of the world’s most breathtaking majestic Himalayan mountain chains, it is famed for its high mountain peaks and range of trekking, snow opportunities, Buddhist relics, Monasteries and Fortresses (Dzongs). The country does not have traffic lights; instead, officials wave cars with white-gloved hands. Tobacco, fishing and hunting are illegal. Thimphu, the 4th highest capital in the world by altitude, does not have its own airport, but relies on the Paro airport connected by road some 54 kilometers (34 miles) away. This is a country where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the main dish!

How to get there:

By Air:

By Railways: Bhutan has no railways. The nearest stations are in Kolkata, Silliguri and Jaigaon in India.

By Car: There are three land border crossings located along southern border to India only. Phuntsholing in the west, Gelephu in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east.Road permits are also required. However, these are processed by local tour operators.

By Bus: From Phuentsholing in Bhutan, Kolkata, and Siliguri in India.

All tourists, except for the citizens of Bangladesh, India and the Maldives, must obtain a visa before arriving in Bhutan.

Popular months to visit: March to April peak period for blossoming rhododendrons, and October to November for mild weather, trekking, and clear views. A good time for viewing the Black-necked cranes, celebrations for their arrival and migratory birds is October to February. The rainy months are June-September.

Special information for Indian travellers:

  1. Travel time from Bagdogra Airport to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing by road is around 5-6 hours depending on traffic jams.
  2. No permit is required for entering Phuentsholing. However, the entry gate from India closes at 20:30 (IST). Bhutan time is half hour ahead of Indian time. You can stay in hotels in Phuentsholing without permit. The permit is made at Phuentsholing for onward visit to Thimphu and Paro only. For visiting other places in Bhutan like Punakha or Bumthang, the permit is made at Thimphu. Regional tourists entering Bhutan via Air can get the Entry Permit at the Paro International Airport.
  3. Staying in Jaigaon is cheaper, and availability is not an issue during offseason.
  4. Indians do not require a visa to travel to Bhutan but need a permit. Obtaining the permit may take as long as half a day. Permits are issued at Phuentsholing. Identification proof like Voter ID Card or Passport is needed. However, you can also get them at Kolkata
  5. Indians can withdraw Bhutanese currency using their Indian debit card at a charge of INR20 per transaction.
  6. Indian currency is widely accepted.
  7. Travel time from Phuentsholing to Thimpu is around 7 hours by road.
  8. The road is mostly mountainous and must be avoided by those with fear of heights.

 

To make your travel a little easy, we’ve curated the top five best spots which are a must visit when you are in Bhutan:

Here is the list of top 5 places to visit in BHUTAN:

  1. PARO TAKSTANG OR TIGER’S NEST:
Travel to Paro Taktsang bhutan

Paro Taktsang

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery hangs on a cliff and stands above an enchanting forest of blue pines and rhododendrons. The peaceful serene beauty and clean air, surrounded by unlevelled mountains, lush green fields and historical buildings make Paro the foremost popular destination in Bhutan. Paro receives maximum number of tourists year round. Paro is a historic town with peaceful atmosphere and it is best explored on foot. The construction of the temple complex dates back to 1692. Located 3120 meters above the sea level in Paro Valley, this monastery is the cultural icon of Bhutan. The complex hangs to a cliff which makes it all the more unique and fascinating Though reaching this wonderful monastery may be challenging (900 metres climb), it is definitely worth a visit . A horse  can be arranged for the ride up, but only until the cafeteria. From then on, it is another steep walk and some narrow stairs towards the monastery itself. This certainly will be a major highlight of any journey to Bhutan.  The trail crosses a chapel of butter lamps and descends to a waterfall by the Snow Lion Cave. The view of the Paro valley from here on is breathtaking, and the atmosphere very holy, a place where Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours back in the 8th century, says the legend related to Paro Taktsang history. He brought Buddhism into Bhutan, arriving on the back of a tigress.

Best time/season: March to May and September to November. It is 10 miles{20 minutes car ride} to the home base.

What to bring: Hiking shoes, lots of water, a few snacks, camera

Not Allowed inside the monastry: Backpacks, photography equipment, shoes. Need to be left with the security outside the monastry walls.

Children: Trail above is slow, steady and steep that most kids above seven years only are able to handle.

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Best Places to Visit in Bhutan for Indians
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South Asia's Eastern Himalayas, there's an endlessly fascinating place on earth known as The kingdom of Bhutan, or Dzongkha.


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