A trip to Bhutan from India—–If there is any country on Earth that qualifies as Eden – not just in part, but in its entirety? I believe it is Bhutan. The world has few secrets left and surely Bhutan is one of them. It is so stunning that, when you enter the country, you won’t ever feel like leaving it again. Mountains, Rivers & monasteries are in abundant numbers.

Tiger’s Nest is the most popular destination to visit in Bhutan. A trip to Bhutan was one of my travel goal I set a few years ago and a country I had been wanting to visit for much longer.

How to reach Bhutan from India

The easiest way is fly to Bhutan and have flights from most of the metro cities of India. The cheapest way to reach Bhutan from Guwahati is to take a train to New Alipurdar and then a bus to Jaigaon. If you are traveling from other parts of India to Bhutan, you can take a train to Siliguri/Jalpaiguri and then a bus to Jaigaon. From Jaigaon you can walk across the border area and reach Phuentsholing which is the border town on Bhutan side.

Permits required to visit Bhutan from India/other countries

Tourism to Bhutan is not that simple. The tourism sector is managed by Tourism Council of Bhutan. TCB has set a minimum daily package. It’s US$200/US$250(Low/High season) per person per night. Visitors from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives are exempted from this rule. Indians do not need a Visa to visit Bhutan.

Update: Bhutan has ended decades of free entry to Indian tourists visiting Bhutan, the government in Thimphu has decided to levy a daily ₹1,200 ($17) fee for “regional tourists” from India, the Maldives and Bangladesh, starting from July 2020. The fee, called a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF).

A valid Indian ID (Passport/Voter Id) with 2 photos would suffice to obtain a permit. You’ll be issued an entry permit at Phuentsholing which would be valid to visit Paro and Thimphu, for a maximum of 15 days.

Note: Aadhaar card, Pan Card, Driving License etc. will not be considered valid.

If you want to visit any other destinations other than Thimphu and Paro, you’ll have to get Restricted Area Permit from Thimphu Immigration Office. All the permits issued are free of cost and the Immigration Office at Phuentsholing is open only on weekdays (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Bhutan Standard Time). Also, please check for Bhutan public holidays in advance as it remains closed on those days as well.

Bhutan’s currency is the ngultrum, whose value is same as the Indian rupee. The rupee is accepted everywhere in the country. Paro Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan. There are no railways, though Indian Railways are planning to link southern Bhutan to its vast network.

Once you cross the border and enter Bhutan, you’ll notice the change in the architecture of buildings. There is nothing much to see in Phuentsholing, so I started inquiring about Paro route. There are many options to reach Paro from Phuentsholing. I took a minibus and reached Paro in 6-7 hours. It cost me somewhere around INR 250.

I reached Paro at around 4:30 PM. It gets dark very early in these parts of the globe. There are few budget accommodations available and generally prices starts from Rs. 500/- per night.

Getting a SIM card in Bhutan is easy. Show your entry permit to get a SIM Card. There are two network operators Tashi cell & Bhutan Telecom and both gives pre-activated sim card. Tashi Cell offers SIM Card for Nu. 200 with talk time of Nu. 200, so I took the same.


Wow!! Just the feeling you get when you enter this beautiful city. One of the best cities that I have traveled to. The view is breathtaking from every corner, it is surrounded by mountains and Paro Chhu River flows through the main town. It’s like a replica of the paintings we used to draw in our childhood. There is such peacefulness everywhere that you will definitely fall in love with the city.

I came across many local Bhutanese and they are truly humble and honest people by nature. They would help you in the best way they can and won’t ever cheat you.

Hike to Tiger’s Nest on the trip to Bhutan

Tiger’s Nest the iconic symbol was the main reason, I wanted to visit Bhutan. It is 10 km from Paro city, perched high on the mountainside above the Paro valley. I had been dreaming of Tiger’s Nest trek for years and it absolutely did not disappoint me. It’s a three hours hike, the views from the hike to the top were stunning.

The Tiger’s Nest will always remain as one of my favorite places. There is nothing else like it anywhere in the world. You will love every bit of the trek.

Thimphu-“The Capital City”

After spending 2 amazing days in Paro, I headed for Thimphu which is an hour drive from Paro. The entire route is embraced with some spectacular views. Thimphu offers a fascinating glimpse into Bhutanese life. It also features the impressive Tashichho Dzong, which stands above the city.

Mainly the hotels and lodges are present near clock tower area. Also, clock tower has an open amphitheater where different programs are organized all over the year.

Thimphu to Phunaka

After spending a great time in the capital city, it was now time to head toward Phunaka. Phunaka is around 3 hours ride from Thimphu and is famous for Phunaka Dzong. Lots of shared taxis regularly ply from Thimphu to get to Phunaka.

Phunaka Dzong

It is known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong meaning ” “the palace of great happiness or bliss”. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most ravishing structures. The Dzong is located at the junction of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley.

Overall, it’s a mystical, spectacular country with lovely and happy people. If you really tired of your daily routine and really want to spend some peaceful days of life & lovely holidays - Bhutan should be your destination. I can assure you will love each and every moment you spend in this delightful country.

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