If you’re looking for an amazing and exotic travel destination, consider Bhutan. Located in the Himalayas, this small country is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. And while it’s not always easy to get there, the journey is worth it! Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to make the trip from India to Bhutan.
Obtain entry permit
Indian citizens do not require a visa to enter Bhutan, but they do need an Entry Permit. You can obtain an entry permit by presenting any government-approved identity document in the bordering town of Phuentsholing, such as your driver’s license, Aadhar card, passport, etc. However, you can also obtain the same on arrival at Paro airport but you do need a passport to travel by air.
An entry permit to Bhutan lasts for seven days, and you are allowed to travel only between Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. If you intend to stay longer than seven days or plan to travel beyond Punakha, you will need to obtain an additional permit in Thimphu.
How to get from India to Bhutan
There are many different ways to get from India to Bhutan, and the best way for you will depend on your budget and time constraints. You can take a bus, train, plane, or even ride a motorcycle! Let’s explore all your options so you can choose the best route to travel.
- By Air
The quickest way to get from India to Bhutan is by air. Several airports in India offer direct flights to Bhutan, including Bagdogra, Calcutta, Delhi, and Mumbai. You can also fly from Bangkok, Kathmandu and Singapore. The airport in Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines operate flights from India to Paro a few days a week. Flights usually sell out in advance, so it is advisable to book in advance. The view of Kanchenjunga peak of Himalayas is mesmerizing from the flight window.
- By Rail
Please note Bhutan does not have a railway network. However, this does not mean you cannot travel to Bhutan by train. The best railways stations are Jaigaon and New Jalpaiguri on the Indo-Bhutan border. The Siliguri-Alipurduar route is a popular option for those traveling from West Bengal. The journey takes around 12 hours, and trains run daily. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a scenic option for those looking to take in the sights of the region. The journey takes around 16 hours, and trains run every other day.
- By Road
Travel to Bhutan by road can be done in various ways. The easiest way is to take a bus or taxi from Siliguri (Bagdogra) to Phuentsholing. You can also self-drive in your motorcycle or car. The journey takes around six hours. Phuensholing is a border town with Jaigaon in India and is an ideal entry point to obtain the permit.
How much it will cost to travel between India and Bhutan
The cost of traveling between India and Bhutan varies depending on how you choose to make the journey. You can take a bus between Siliguri and Phuentsholing for about Rs. 300-500. If you take a train, it will be a tad expensive. The quickest way to get there will be by air. The direct flight to Paro will cost about Rs. 5K-10K one-way.
There are also other options available, such as riding a motorcycle or hiring a car. This can be a fun way to travel but it is important to be aware of the dangers involved. These options are quite expensive as well.
The best time to travel to Bhutan
Bhutan is a beautiful country that is worth visiting at any time of year. However, the best time to go depends on what you are looking for. If you want to see the country in all its glory, then the best time is during the autumn months when the leaves are changing color. If you are looking for a quieter, more peaceful experience, then the winter months might be a better time for you.
As we’ve seen, there are many different ways to make the journey from India to Bhutan. The best way for you will depend on your budget and time constraints. If you have more money to spend and less time to spare, flying might be the best option for you. However, if you want to save some money and have a bit more time on your hands, taking the bus or train might be a better choice. Whichever route you choose, I hope you have gained some insight into what to expect on your journey from India to Bhutan.
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