Bhutan is the only country which measures its progress through the Gross National Happiness Index and hence, it is known as the ‘Happiest Country in the World’. Tourists from all the corners of the world visit Bhutan to explore its ancient monasteries and indulge in its adventurous trekking expeditions. Even though Bhutan tourism is flourishing by the day, the country adopts a holistic approach to protecting and preserving its natural resources, environment, culture and heritage. Want to visit this happiest country in the world? Wondering how to reach Bhutan? Here are the answers to all your questions.
There are two ways to reach Bhutan from India – by air and by road. Indian passport holders do not require any visa to enter Bhutan; you need to carry your passport or a voter ID card to get the entry permit.
How to reach Bhutan by air?
Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan and has connecting flights from Delhi, Bagdogra, Guwahati, and Mumbai. You can take direct flights from Kolkata to Paro. Hence, there is more frequency of flights from Kolkata to reach Bhutan. The number of flights from Delhi and Mumbai are less as compared to Kolkata and Bagdogra. Druk Air is the national airline of Bhutan and flights can be booked only through the official websites of this airline.
If you are travelling through Nepal, you can take direct flights from Kathmandu to Paro. You can experience the most exciting journey from Kathmandu to Paro as the airplane passes over the four highest mountains in the world. All the other major cities in Bhutan are well-connected with domestic airlines.
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How to reach Bhutan by road?
Want to go on a road trip to Bhutan? Here is all you need to know on how to reach Bhutan by road.
Indians who wish to travel to Bhutan by road need to acquire an ‘entry permit’ from the Immigration Office of Royal Government of Bhutan in Phuensholing, which is located on the Indo-Bhutan border opposite Jaigaon, West Bengal. But this ‘entry permit’ allows an Indian tourist to visit Paro and Thimphu only. If you wish to go beyond Thimphu and Paro then you need to obtain a ‘special area permit’ from the Royal Government of Bhutan Immigration Office in Thimphu. It is also possible to arrange the visa from Kolkata at Royal Bhutan Consulate Office. It is better to apply 10-12 days prior to your visit.
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To reach Bhutan by road, you have to go through three border points in India. They are a) Jaigaon – Phuensholing Border, b) Gelephu and c) Samdrup Jongkhar. The Jaigaon – Phuentsholing border is preferred by most of the travellers as it is easily accessible and can get you the entry permit easily. If you are on tight budget, you can travel by local buses or else can hire a car or jeep to travel within Bhutan. It takes 4 hours to reach Phuensholing from Bagdogra Airport and around 6 hours to reach Thimphu from Phuensholing. Private taxis and buses are also available from Bagdogra, New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri which connects National Highway NH31 at Sevoke road and will take you to Thimphu.
Ready to plan a trip to the Happiest Country in the World? Book our Bhutan Tour Packages and explore the royal monasteries and Dzongs.