How to Plan a Perfect Bhutan Tour from India?
There is something magical about Bhutan, the straightforward yet mesmerizing land somehow manages to the touch your soul, balm it with peace, and even mend the broken heart. The salubrious climate, the breathtaking views, and therefore the majestic monasteries could seem a cliched thanks to describe the sweetness of Bhutan, but each word used for this gorgeous country is in its purest form. Visiting and exploring Bhutan are often an exquisite experience, something you’ll always remember . So, does one also want to possess this unforgettable experience? Yes, well, then this blog is for you. Allow me to assist you with the best Bhutan travel guide which will allow you to plan your Bhutan tour from India within the absolute best way. Below is that the step by step guide which will assist you plan your tour with none hassle or confusion to the present land of Thunder Dragon. So, let’s get started!
Ways to Reach Bhutan from India
By Air: Flying to Bhutan from India is sort of easy. There are two direct airlines, namely, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines that operate flights from Delhi, Gaya, Bagdogra, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. Indian travellers are often offered special fares in Drukair, if the airline is contacted through email.
By Rail: one among the most cost effective ways to succeed in Bhutan from India is by rail. Hasimara is that the nearest railroad station to Jaigaon, an Indian town on Indo-Bhutan Border. it’s situated at a distance of 17 kms from Jaigaon. There are trains to Hasimara from Kolkata (690 kms), Delhi (1663 kms), Ranchi (749 kms), and Kanpur (1197 kms). Another station that gives an honest connectivity is situated in New Jalpaiguri. The tickets and timetable is out there on Indian Railway’s IRCTC Website. Though trains take longer but are quite cost efficient and are ideal for budget travellers.
By Road: the foremost common thanks to enter Bhutan from India by road is from Jaigaon town in West Bengal . it’s only 4.3 kms from the border town of Bhutan, Phuentsholing. Private cabs are available between the 2 places. People getting down at Bagdogra (by flight) or at New Jalpaiguri (by train) also can avail cab services. The airport at Bagdogra have prepaid taxis also . However, for those travelling on budget can hire the cab by directly cracking a affect the cab drivers.
Best Way to Reach Bhutan
For Budget Travellers: Take a flight to Bagdogra, and from there hire a cab to Phuentsholing (Prepaid Taxis charge about INR 2500). Also, before booking the Bagdogra flight, ask Drukair for a comparison of fare, and just in case you get an honest affect the Bhutanese Airline, with none reconsideration book tickets with them.
For Other Travellers: the simplest thanks to reach Bhutan from India is to require an immediate flight to Paro. It takes around 2.5 hrs to succeed in from Delhi to Paro, flying time is at its minimum if you’re taking a flight from Bagdogra.
How to Get Tourist Permit in Bhutan?
The Immigration Office in Phuentsholing issues permit (for SAARC nations). There are few documents that require to urge verified before the tourist permit is handed out. Those travellers flying on to Paro can get their permits from Paro International Airport.
List of Documents:
- A duly filled form
- Copy of Voter’s ID or Passport
- An Itinerary on an A4 Sheet
- Booked Hotel’s Voucher (It is mandatory to point out hotel booking confirmation of a minimum of one hotel in Thimphu/Paro)
- Passport Size Photo
- An Undertaking Letter (In case you’re travelling solo)
Things to Remember:
- Be clear about what you fill within the occupation section, merely writing ‘Service’ or ‘Private Job’ won’t be sufficient. Mention the world you’re employed in also as your designation.
- Go early within the morning, around 8:00 AM – 8.30 AM, this manner you’ll be ready to dodge long queue. Also, you’ll get free early, and shall have the prospect to succeed in Thimphu/Paro before evening, as both the places are at an honest 5-6 hours long drive from Phuentsholing.
- In case you forgot to require photocopies of the specified document, there are shops just opposite the Immigration Office for photostat.
- Through this Tourist Permit, you’ll attend Thimphu, Paro and Punakha. Please note that so as to go to Bumthang and other tourist places in Bhutan, a separate permit is required.
- From July 2020, a daily fee of INR 1200 will need to be paid by Indian tourists visiting Bhutan.
- To expedite and ease the method of permit obtaining, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and therefore the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the web Permit System, which facilitates the web processing of permits through registered
- Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels.
Note: If you’ve got booked your tour through a travel company like Tour My India, their agent/representative will assist you get the permit quickly and with none hassles.
Once your rough itinerary is ready, you’ll start trying to find suitable accommodation. Since tourism in Bhutan is flourishing, one can find hotel options on several budgets. In fact, the concept of homestay is additionally not new anymore within the country, as tons of individuals have opened their houses for tourists so as to supply an authentic experience to them. Right from Phuentsholing to the capital city, Thimphu, everywhere you’ll find hotels in your budget. Here are few things that you simply should know while booking hotels in Bhutan:
- An average hotel during the height season can cost up to INR 2500, whereas, an equivalent hotel offers room at INR 1300-1500 during offseason. There also are accommodations available on a shoestring budget (INR 400-500), but they’re going to be quite basic and should lack comfort amenities.
- Also, tons of budget travelers have complained about armies of mosquitoes and bugs attacking them at night. So, if you’re getting to book hotels on-spot, confirm to first see the space.
- In case, you’re booking beforehand, you ought to choose a hotel that ranges between INR 1000-1500 if at the least you’re keen on your sleep.
The Bhutanese currency is named Ngultrum, which is like the worth of Indian currency, i.e., INR 1 = Ng 1. The notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 of Indian denomination are used widely in Bhutan, however, notes of 500 and 2000 aren’t valid within the country.
What to Pack for Bhutan?
- A shawl/jacket or a shrug: These are mandatory for both men and ladies when entering an area of worship.
- Raincoat and Umbrella: just in case you’re traveling within the monsoon, these two things are going to be required.
- Pack light clothes for summer and monsoon, and heavy woolens if traveling in winters to Bhutan.
- Swimwear: If you would like to experience the normal hot stone bath or hot springs.
- Comfortable Flat Shoes and A Pair of Trainers/Hiking Shoes
- Motion Sickness Medicine: For the country has winding roads
What to See and Do in Bhutan?
On a traditional Bhutan Tourist Permit, you’ll visit three tourist destinations, i.e. Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, along side the exception of Phuentsholing, which you’ll explore without the permit also . allow us to discuss these four destinations and which may be visited on normal tourist permit.
The border town of Bhutan, Phuentsholing is indeed the reflection of what the country is all about. Clean locales, sound traffic system, orderly homes and shops, and smiling and humble-looking individuals. Phuentsholing may be a village and has quite a few attractions, which may be covered during the day. the main tourist attraction here is Karbandi Monastery, from where one can witness a wide-ranging view of the Bengal plains which of Phuentsholing town. The Monastery is popular amongst the locals as an area where prayers for fertility/bearing of a toddler is claimed to urge fulfilled. Another place to ascertain within the town is that the centrally located Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang– a Buddhist shrine dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. there’s also a Crocodile Breeding Centre, called Amo Chhu which will be a stimulating place to go to. aside from this, Phuentsholing has a foreign goods shop where one can purchase clothing at very fewer prices. There are a variety of restaurants in Phuentsholing, where Bhutanese, Chinese and Indian dishes are served. One also can find dance and singing bars that are quite a thing to possess an experience of.
Distance with Major Places in Bhutan
- Phuentsholing to Thimphu: 164 kms
- Phuentsholing to Paro: 160 kms
- Phuentsholing to Bagdogra: 164 kms
- Phuentsholing to Siliguri: 155 kms
Phuentsholing bus terminal, that’s under Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan (RSTA) from where one can find buses for several cities/towns in Bhutan. The buses are usually small and are mainly Toyota Coaster buses, however, few Eichers also can be spotted. Just outside the bus terminal is that the Taxi Stand, from where one can hire full cabs or shared ones instantly.
Note: In Phuentsholing, you’ll exchange your Indian Currency, actually you’ll even invite the hotel you’re staying for currency exchange, and that they shall happily assist you with it.
The country’s capital, Thimphu is simply what you would like to know why Bhutan is one among its kind. A drive of about 6 hours (by Bus) and 5 hrs (by Cab) from Phuentsholing brings you to a contemporary town that also has its ancient look intact. Yes, one can find the multi-storied building, some actually too high for the town but the majority of them wiped out the traditional Bhutanese style of architecture. a scientific and relatively crowded area mark because the main market, where you’ll buy anything to everything. Thimphu features a few attractions but all special in their own way.
Top Places to go to in Thimphu
- Memorial Chorten: just in case you’ve got not booked this tour with a travel company, about Ng 300 are going to be charged as an entry fee.
- Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point)
- Trashichhoedzong/Tashichho Dzong
- Simtokha Dzong
- National Library
- Institute for Zorig Chusum
- Traditional Medicine Institute
- The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim)
- National Textile Museum
- Handicrafts Shops
- Changangkha Lhakhang
- Craft Bazaar: Organized on Tuesday and Wednesday
- Weekend Market: Saturday and Sunday
- Junghi Handmade Paper Factory
- Zangthopelri Lhakhang
- Simply Bhutan Museum
- Takin Reserve
What to Do in Thimphu?
Apart from sightseeing, Thimphu may be an excellent spot to enjoy the nightlife in Bhutan. There are a variety of clubs and bars that stay open till late for people. a number of the simplest places for experiencing nightlife in Thimphu are Club Ace, Vivacity, Mojo Park, and Space 34. A dining experience within the city is additionally top-notch, give your palate a replacement flavor to savor by trying out Bhutanese Cuisine within the capital city. Try Ema Datshi with Red Rice, and don’t miss out thereon delicious dry pork because it’s one among the simplest things to dine in Bhutan. Thimphu is additionally an ideal place to travel shopping in Bhutan, one can purchase Thangkas (scroll painting), masks, prayer wheels, Buddha figurines, Mandala paintings, yak hair bags, and vibrant kiras from here. A must-try here is that the locally brewed alcohol called Ara. aside from this, a night view of Tashichho Dzong is the things that can’t be missed in Thimphu.
How to Travel in Thimphu?
Local taxis are available for hiring in Thimphu. One can book a cab for each day and may see all the highest attractions at some point. There are few places where local buses also can take you, however, it’s better to require a cab. you’ll also prefer to walk to a number of the tourist places in Thimphu, just schedule a cab to at least one of the attractions than with the assistance of map walk to its nearby places to go to.
Around 85 kms east of Thimphu, PunakhaPunakha may be a beautiful valley that’s known for its Dzong/Fortress, which is situated on the confluence of two popular rivers of Bhutan, Mo and Pho. The gorgeous and majestic dzong of Punakha is historically important, it had been not only was the centre/capital of Bhutan once (between 1637 to 1907) but is additionally home to the sacred relic, Rangjung Kharsapani. The valley and therefore the dzong, both are the favored tourist places in Bhutan. The place features a lot of tourists (both locals and tourists) during the Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen.
What to Do in Punakha?
Apart from visiting the favored dzong, one can enjoy river rafting in Punakha. The Pho Chhu in Punakha Valley, which meanders on a 16 km course with about 15 rapids of grade II-IV is that the hottest place for rafting in Bhutan. Another river in Punakha Valley, ideal for river rafting is Mo Chu with a 10 km course comprising around 10 rapids of grade II and II+.
How to Reach Punakha?
Cabs are available from Thimphu City for Punakha. There also are RSTA run buses too but the timings are a little odd. it’s best to go out for Punakha from Thimphu early within the morning because it takes good 2.5 hours to succeed.
One of the widest valleys in Bhutan, ParoParo may be a picturesque place that will cause you to fall crazy with its first glimpse. Spanning from the confluence of Paro and Wang rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North, this heavenly place is where you’ll think to calm down. the most Paro town is nothing but a little strategically area with houses, hotels, shops, and restaurants beat an ideal equation within the widest a part of the valley. Whereas, its main tourist attractions just like the Rinpung Dzong, National Museum, and therefore the very fashionable Taktsang Monastery/Tiger’s Nest Monastery are nestled within the hills. Paro, unlike Thimphu, is often seen working things at its own pace. Here the places and activities to enjoy are fewer, but whatever this beautiful town in Bhutan has on offer shall remain etched in your memory forever.
Top Places to go to in Paro
- Rinpung Dzong
- Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger’s Nest
- Ta Dzong
- Drukgyel Dzong
- Kyichu Lhakhang
- Farm House (traditional village house)
- Druk Choeding Temple
- Dungtse Lhakhang
- Ugyen Pelri Palace
Places Around Paro
- Haa Valley
- Chele La
- Dzongdrakha Goemba
What to Do in Paro?
Paro is right for couples on honeymoon, it’s that perfect place where the character accompanies you everywhere to form your togetherness feel even better. Paro is additionally a destination for adventure lovers because it offers the opportunity for not only trekking but that of mountain biking, rafting, and kayaking. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery trek is certainly a thing to try to do in Paro, then is watching the snow-capped Jomolhari from the ruins of Drugyel. One also can enjoy witnessing the sunset view of the town from Paro Museum, and relish the sight of flights beginning from the Paro International Airport.
How to Travel in Paro?
Walking is that ideal thanks to exploring Paro. However, there are cabs available for sightseeing tours. Also, it’s necessary to require a cab to the bottom point of the Taktsang Monastery, which is a few 11 km from the town.