Getting into Bhutan

Author: Madhawi Rai
Date: 2019-12-12

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Bhutan is one of the closest neighboring countries to India and is easily accessible too, given that diplomatic relations between the two countries have always been good and go back long in history. Wondering how to get to visit Bhutan? There are multiple entry points into Bhutan and some of them are listed below:

BY AIR

Bhutan has so far only international airport that caters to tourists or visitors.  The international airport at Paro is located at a height of 7,300 ft above sea level and surrounded by mountains and hills which is as high as 16,000 ft. Most foreign tourists who visit here, land at Paro itself.


There are flights to destinations like Bangkok, Delhi, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya. Dhaka, Kathmandu. Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai. One of the most exciting flights between Paro and Kathmandu passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. You can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga. There are Domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan. Bhutan is connected by Two International Airline carriers:

  • Druk Air
  • Bhutan Airlines


BY LAND

1. By Car

The most well known entry point to Bhutan by road is through the twin-town of Jaigaon-Phuentsholing on the Indo-Bhutan border close to Siliguri (about 152 kms). Gelephu is another entry point to Bhutan situated in south-central Bhutan. It is approximately 250 km from the capital city Thimphu. The journey to reach Thimphu is quite interesting. It takes the travellers through the sub-tropical areas and the alpine zone of Bhutan. Samdrup Jongkhar has situated in south-east Bhutan and 150 km away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam.


It borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam. The journey from Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar is about three hours. The entering route, Samdrup Jongkhar takes travellers through Trashigang, Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then capital Thimphu.


2. By Bus

Indian tourists may take a bus journey from Kolkata. One can take a direct bus from Esplanade Station in Kolkata to Phuentsholing. The bus journey takes about 18 hours to reach Phuentsholing from Kolkata. The buses are run by the Royal Bhutanese Government. Siliguri has the frequent bus service to Phuentsholing/Jaigaon, which takes less than four-hour journey. 


BY TRAIN

There is no direct route via train in Bhutan. Visitors have to reach at the defined station and then take a cab or local transport to reach Bhutan. Convenient and best options from India are New Alipurduar, Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri Station and Hasimara. 


Hasimara in West Bengal is only 17 km away from Phuentsholing. 'New Alipurduar' railway station is 60 km away from Jaigaon. Bus and taxi services are available from New Alipurduar to Jaigaon. The trains going towards Guwahati stop at this railway station. Tourists can stop here and catch the bus or taxi to reach Bhutan. One of the convenient options for travellers heading to Bhutan by land is New Jalpaiguri Station in Siliguri. Direct shared taxis and buses from Siliguri to Jaigaon are available.

Want to know about how to enter and fomalities associated to North-East India, Nepal and Bhutan. Read here to know more...

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