TRAVEL TO BHUTAN FROM INDIA
Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Delhi, Chandigarh, Pune and Mumbai (Maharastra), Goa, Bangalore (Bengaluru), Chennai.
Travel to Bhutan .. a magnificent country to travel to, but most of the time has been so near yet too far to many reluctant Indian travelers. Bhutan with a geographical area of 38.816 km². and 20 districts is about half the size of Arunachal Pradesh which lies to the east of the country. A sparsely populated Buddhist Himalayan nation with a demographic population of about 7,50,000. Bhutan has many similarities and parallels with Tibet, adjoining western Arunachal, Sikkim, Ladakh and Nepal of course.
“Dzongkha” is the national language, but English is very widely spoken throughout the country. Your guide will speak fluent English and also passable Hindi for your cause.
Yes, Travel to Bhutan , the last existing Shangri-La on earth, where 70% of the land is under green vegetation as enshrined in the country’s constitution. A small nation where Gross National Happiness is considered more important than Gross National Product. Most of the demographic habitation is based on the high and wide mountain valleys with snow fed rivers to consolidate all the human needs and sundries that follow and the immediate human needs to survive.
Your Bhutan Travel can include sighting Yaks, Takins (the national animal), and the migratory Black Necked Cranes which are part of the rare takeaway experiences on offer. And the ancient and unique Buddhist architecture, the magnificent century old fortresses called Dzongs, the monumental Buddhist monasteries, the wooden cantilever bridges, the massive Bhutanese houses and the ever friendly and smiling natives. Or a rare overnight rural Bhutanese homestay experience and the ancient Buddhist Festivals called “Tshechus” that have been followed on year after year for centuries since the 7th century till today.
And the high mountain passes usually in excess of 3000m, when you cross from one valley to another, offer you very rare sights of the Bhutanese Himalayan mountain ranges, ice peaked most of the time of course..
So the question that naturally pops up to a possible wannabe greenhorn intending to Travel to Bhutan from India is:
Why Bhutan and why must I travel to Bhutan ? What are the expectations that I must have, what’s it like in Bhutan?? What’s the food and cuisine like? Can I get to eat homely Indian food with my kind of spices and masala? The answer is yes. You will get your typical Indian food at most hotels and restaurants, that’s assured. But if you love hot spicy dishes, just Travel to Bhutan. There are an assortment of hot and spicy dishes on offer 24×7. And if you want to pray, there’s a Hindu Temple in downtown Thimphu, just ask your guide.
(Award-winning chef, Vikas Khanna is the owner of New York’s Michelin star restaurant, Junoon).
(Mark Wiens, based in Bangkok is a world known Travel and Food Blogger)
The hotels can be had according to your choice and liking, and yes, the prices will differ with the stars that you are comfortable with.
One factor that has to be really emphasized is, when you Travel to Bhutan is.. “High Altitude Sickness” and it needs serious importance. One can google around what you must do, should there be any eventualities. But the cardinal act that must be done is to always descend to lower ground just to escape it if you get it. The atmosphere gets thicker as you get down to lower altitude, the heart beats better, like Newton said.
Hindi is understood by most people, a bit of gesturing when you speak will do wonders.
Please do carry your maximum woolens, umbris and wet gear, and thick socks, they can be very handy since you will be traveling in high country. And also be mentally prepared to negotiate the relentlessly winding roads.. the highways in Bhutan are never straight when you Travel in Bhutan.
Indian nationals intending to visit Bhutan do need to carry any of the two valid Travel Documents:
- An Indian Passport with a validity of minimum 6 months prior to your entry into Bhutan;
- A Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India.
That’s all what is required actually. No Visas are required for Indian nationals to visit Bhutan. Carrying a passport is ideal, though not necessary. Even a Voter’s ID card is sufficient enough. An entry permit will be given when crossing the border.
If Indian Citizens do not have a passport or voter id, they can obtain an identification slip from the Indian Consulate Office at Phuentsholing by providing proof like birth certificate, aadhar card etc. The office is located in ‘India House’. They take a contribution of Rs. 100 for Army Welfare Fund. Carry the photocopies of the proofs being submitted, fill up a simple application form and the identification slip will be issued in 15 mintues.
Bhutan’s only international airport is at Paro (2280m), 54 km from Thimphu city (2320m), one of the highest capital cities of the world. The drive from Paro to Thimphu city takes about an hour. And the only airlines that fly into Bhutan are Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. Druk Air’s A319 planes designed to suit and adapt to high mountain flying, have a seat capacity of 118, 16 in the business class and 102 in the economy class. There are also three domestic airports at Bumthang, Gelephu and Yonphula.
Druk AIr flies in from Kathmandu, Dacca, Bangkok and Singapore on the international circuit. And from India it flies in from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodhgaya and Guwahati. So one can prioritize and choose from where you want to land in Bhutan.
The points of entry by land are at Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar in the south bordering India. Phuentsholing is the most popular among the three, in south western Bhutan, and is about a 3.5 hr drive from Bagdogra airport near Siliguri in North Bengal. Thimphu city is about a further 5 hr drive from there on.
DOS AND DON’TS WHEN ON TRAVEL TO BHUTAN
- Taking pictures inside the Dzongs, temples and monasteries is strictly prohibited
- Pl take off your caps/hats inside Dzongs, temples and in front of the national flag
Wear full length, long sleeved clothes while visiting Dzongs, temples, monasteries, schools or any government institution
- Pl walk clockwise while crossing Dzongs, temples, monasteries, prayer flags and other religious artifacts
- Please seek for permission before taking pictures of other people or religious items
- Do not give sweets, money, pencils, pens etc. to the children
- Although Bhutan is safe, it’s but natural to keep your valuable items safe. Your guide and driver are the best choices.
- There are a lot of stray dogs in Bhutan. Do not tease them as they aren’t actually friendly. Barking dogs are also a nuisance at night in several areas.
- Public display of affection is uncommon in Bhutan. Kindly refrain from doing so.
- Smoking at public places is prohibited.
- Buying antiques from Bhutan is strictly monitored by the customs department. Please insist on a cash memo/original bill while purchasing. You will be asked to produce evidence. And check with your guide beforehand.
- Always check with your guide and driver if its okay before doing what you want to do.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
- Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
- Rinpung Dzong
- Ta Dzong (Bhutan’s National Museum)
- Drugyal Dzong
- Kyichu Lhakhang
- Chelela Pass @3988m
and several other monasteries and monuments and Hiking Trails.
- Trashichho Dzong
- The National Memorial Chorten
- Changgankha Lhakhang
- Handicrafts Museum
- Indigenous Paper Factory
- Sunday Farmers’ Market
- Simtokha Dzong
- Buddha Dordenma Statue
- Cheri Monastery
- Tango Monastery.
- Dochula Pass @3100m on the way to Punakha from Thimphu
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Chimmi Lhakhang
- River Rafting at the Pho Chhu
- The ancient Punakha Dzong
- Khamsum Yulley Namgyal
- The magnificent sup shaped glacial valley of Phobjikha @ 3000m
- Gangtey Monastery
- The migratory Black Necked Cranes (Oct – Feb)
- Gogona Valley
- The strategic Trongsa Dzong
- Kuenga Rabten Palace
- The Four magnificent valleys of Bumthang
- The Jakar Dzong
- Membar Tsho (Burning Lake)
- Membar Tsho (Burning Lake)
- Kurjey Monastery
- Jambay Lhakhang
- The ruins of Sindhu Raja’s Palace
So please come, visit and Travel to Bhutan. We at Yak Holidays Int’l, [email protected], will always be there 24×7 to support, facilitate and make your Bhutan travel a successful and memorable one. Flexibility and compatibility are guaranteed to all our clients.
Discover with us the best of Bhutan where happiness never ends.
Once a year, travel to someplace you have never been to. So why not make it to Bhutan this time around?