I visited Bhutan in April 2017 and since then I have had this draft in here. But finally, I have decided to complete this article.
Bhutan, the little Himalayan paradise is being adored by many. Well, if you are an Indian then consider yourself lucky because getting into Bhutan is tough and for many other countries, it remains an impossible dream.
Documents for Travel Permit:
All foreigners (except for citizens of Bangladesh, India, and the Maldives) must obtain a visa before visiting Bhutan. If approved, they are given a visa clearance letter and must present it at the port of entry. The visa is then stamped into their passport. Foreign tourists must use a licensed Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners to pre-arrange their visa and book their holiday. A daily fee is also charged for every day of stay. For most foreign tourists, it amounts to $250 a day during tourist high season and $200 a day for low season.
If you check the Indian embassy for Bhutan website it says Indians require below two documents:
- Indian Passport
- A voter ID card with photograph or Aadhaar Card or Driver’s License.
One more thing that I was required to show when we went to the Phuentsholing office was the Hotel bookings, which isn’t yet updated on their website. So if you need a travel permit for 7 days, you need to show your hotel bookings & Itinerary for 7 days as well. You can extend it for another & or 15 days from Thimpu. But not sure, the hotel document was a temporary change or permanent. We booked our tickets with the help of a Local agent with met at a small mobile shop in Phuentsholing or you can also get it done Online and show the documents.
How to reach :
You can either want to fly directly to Paro or enter via road. To enter by road the closest airport is Bagdogra (West Bengal) and then reach Siliguri–>Phuentsholing by Taxi.
The easiest and most convenient way of reaching the border from Kolkata would be as Kolkata – Train to Hasimara – Auto Rickshaw to Jaigaon – walk to Phuentsholing.
Phuntsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan and adjoins the Indian town of Jaigaon.
Siliguri 157 Km
Bagdogra 164 Km
Jaigaon 5 km
Thimpu 149 Km
Paro 142 km
Once you have the Travel Permits, you can get a taxi and reach Thimpu or Paro.
The road trip in Bhutan is very picturesque and worth a visit. Moving around Bhutan is easy for Indians again. Most of the Bhutanese can understand and speak Hindi and Indian Rupees can be used everywhere. We are definitely cashing out the very good Indo-Bhutanese relations. Hope the two countries continue to be good friends and our Bhutan dreams can be fulfilled whenever we want.