Getting to Bhutan

Getting to Bhutan

How to Reach Bhutan

Located in the midst of Himalayas, Bhutan is a majestic landscape bringing together culture and tradition. This place is an ideal destination for awe inspiring beauty coupled with extreme spiritualism. Bhutan has justified itself as ‘The Last Shangrila’ being the last surviving Buddhist Kingdom

.. The teaching and holy scriptures are still preserved in an authentic way. The profound teachings still have a large impact on the people living in that region.

In earlier times, it was difficult to enter Bhutan as the route was full of hurdles. There were hardly any well made roads and airport was also not available. The routes open were in north and south. Tibet signifies the north entrance which is very hilly and dangerous if taken by foot. Other are the plains of Assam and West Bengal. But after the economic development in Bhutan and neighbouring countries, routes were made. Bhutan then became accessible to people for reasons like tourism and business. It is a one stop destination for trekking and other adventurous sports.

With advancement and development, reaching Bhutan is easy. You can come by road or by air as per your budget and time availability. There are various points of entrance in Bhutan. First is Phuentsholing, which is located in the south and it is connected to the plains of West Bengal. Second is Paro, which connects to Indian state Assam through Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. In Paro, the entry is done through the National airline of Bhutan. Let us talk about the two ways to reach Bhutan in detail.

Travel By Air

The name of Bhutan’s  airport is Paro International Airport which is the sole international airport of Bhutan. The airport is surrounded by peaks as high as 5500m. It is one of the most complicated and challenging airport in the world. Druk air is the national airline of Bhutan with its base in Paro airport. Druk air was established by the Royal Charter in 1981. The flights are restricted to only daylight hours from sunrise to sunset. Destinations connected to Bhutan through air are Kolkata, Bodh gaya, Dacca, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Guwahati. The passage between Paro and Kathmandu is extremely exclusive as it covers 5 highest mountains of the world. You can witness majestic beauty in just one ride from one destination to other. The mountains are MT Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga.

Travel By Land

For international tourists there are three land borders open namely Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar in the eastern part of BHutan. Phuntsholing is a town in Bhutan that is located 170km away from Indian airport Bagdogra in the east. After crossing this city, begins a journey that is filled with cuts and turns that are no less dangerous than the track. After going upwards for many miles, you will reach the capital city of Bhutan that is Thimphu. The 176 kms might be less but they are covered in 6 hours because of their extreme dangerousness.

Gelephu is one of the entry points in Bhutan from India. This town is located in the Sarpang district of Bhutan. Phuntsholing is to its west. There is also an airport constructed in this area but has not yet been in operation due to many reasons. To enter Gelephu, you will see the subtropical area of Bhutan and the alpine zone. It will take around ten hours to reach Thimphu.

Samdrup Jongkhar is a town bordering Assam, located in the south eastern part of Bhutan. It is the main hub of coal mining which contributes highly to the economy of the country. It is 150 kms away from Guwahati that is the capital; of Assam. If you start from Guwahati , it will take you around three hours to enter BHutan from Trashigang, which is the largest district in the country. And finally you will reach Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangde Phodrang finally making a way into Thimphu. All this amounts to 700 kms in total requiring around 3 days for travel.

Entry Point

You will be issued with a permit to enter the BHutan by immigration officers once they inspect you. You will be inspected in both ways if you are travelling by road or air. They will require your identity which can be voter’s card or passport.

Testimonials Sometimes a packaged holiday comes so much with a predefined set of takeaways, but The Destination Bhutan offered so much freedom of choice that it did not feel like a packaged holiday at all.

KH Zaman
Buffalo, New York

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