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How to reach Bhutan from Kolkata?

Discussion in 'Bhutan' started by Shoojit, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Shoojit

    Shoojit New Member

    I am from Kolkata and want to travel to Bhutan. As this is a destination where not many people go to, and I would like some expertise advice on how to reach Bhutan from Kolkata.
    Members who do not have any knowledge about this route, please do not reply as I want accurate information.

    I would like information on the different ways to reach Bhutan from Kolkata.

    The cost and travel time involved in the various modes of transport.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Shoojit, welcome to the forum!

    The Happiest Place on Earth, Bhutan.
    The Happiest Place on Earth, Bhutan

    How to Reach Bhutan from Kolkata?

    So first of all, the distance between Kolkata and Bhutan is about 1,038 kilometres. It can take you more than a day to reach the latter, if you go by road journey. But there are two ways of reaching Bhutan from Kolkata, either by air or by road journey. The former is more expensive but shorter while the latter is less expensive but takes a longer time. Make sure you have your passport, minimum of six months validity, and an identification proof ready too. These documents are necessary for obtaining an entry permit to the country of Bhutan. But for other nationalities, aside from Bangladeshi, Indian and Maldivian, they need to obtain a visa prior to entering Bhutan.

    By Air

    1. Direct Flight from Kolkata to Bhutan - The main airport of Bhutan is the Paro International Airport and luckily, it has direct flights from some cities of India, including Kolkata. Both the airlines operating in Bhutan, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines, have flights to and from Kolkata. Flights can be very expensive though especially during peak tourist season.

    Bhutan Airlines Flights from Kolkata to Bhutan

    AirlineFlight NumberDepartureArrivalScheduleFare
    Bhutan AirlinesB37018:159:55DailyRs. 17,068
    Bhutan AirlinesB37158:30[/td10:10Tuesday and WednesdayRs. 17,068

    Druk Air Flights from Kolkata to Bhutan

    AirlineFlight NumberDepartureArrivalScheduleFare
    Druk Air1218:3010:10Tuesday, Thursday and SundayRs. 20,127
    Druk Air2119:1010:50SaturdayRs. 20,127
    Druk Air5019:1010:50Wednesday, Friday and MondayRs. 20,127
    As you can see, journey duration is barely two hours. The air fare prices can be very expensive though but still considerably less than the air fares from Delhi to Bhutan. When you reach the airport, just show your Indian passport and maybe an identification proof if required and you're good to go.


    By Road


    Road journey is a bit more complicated and tiring yet very affordable. You also have plenty of options when it comes to road journey. But first, let us discuss the different border points in India with Bhutan. In total, there are three border points in India that you can cross over with to reach Bhutan. One is in West Bengal and the other two are in Assam.

    Different Border Points in India and Bhutan

    BorderStateLocation
    Jaigaon/PhuentsholingWest BengalWest
    Bongaigaon/GelephuAssamCentral
    Darangamela/Samdrup JongkharAssamEast
    Out of these three border points, the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border is the most preferred by travellers. It is easily accessible and the facilities for staying as well as obtaining an entry permit here are better. So we will begin by finding out how to reach the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border from Kolkata.

    →How to Reach Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border from Kolkata

    1. By Train to Hasimara and Auto/Shared Jeep/Taxi to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border - This is the easiest and most convenient way of reaching the border from Kolkata. You just ride a train to the Hasimara Railway Station from Kolkata and from the Hasimara Railway Station, just ride an auto rickshaw to Jaigaon. Your route would be:
    • Kolkata > Train to Hasimara > Rickhsaw to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border
    There are direct trains from Kolkata to Hasimara although they are quite few. Journey duration would be around 13 hours to 15 hours, more or less. Fare is also very minimal, if you choose the lower classes.

    Trains from Kolkata to Hasimara

    Train Name & NumberDeparture Station - TimeArrival Station - TimeSchedule
    Kanchankanya Express Train No. 13149Sealdah - 20:30Hasimara - 10:46Daily
    Karmabhoomi Express Train No. 22511Howrah Junction - 21:55Hasimara - 12:15Thursday
    Kolkata Alipur Duar Special Fare Train No. 03129Kolkata - 22:45Hasimara - 12:20Sunday
    These are the only three trains departing from Kolkata and reaching Hasimara. You can choose between the Sealdah Railway Station, Howrah Railway Station or Kolkata Railway Station. But the best station would be the first one as it has daily train schedules reaching Hasimara. The fare costs for this route would differ, depending on the class you book.

    Train Fares from Kolkata to Hasimara

    ClassFare
    First Class ACRs. 2,500
    Second Class ACRs. 1,450
    Third Class ACRs. 1,005
    Sleeper ClassRs. 370
    GeneralRs. 215
    From Hasimara Railway Station, the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border is merely 15.7 kilometres or 30 minutes away. At this point, you have several options, going by auto rickshaw, shared jeep or taxi to reach the border. An auto rickshaw costs around Rs. 120, a shared jeep costs around Rs. 50 per person and lastly, a private taxi costs around Rs. 400.

    2. By Train to New Jalpaiguri and Taxi/Bus to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border - Another option would be to reach the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and from there, either ride a shared jeep or a bus to reach the border. Since there are direct trains to Hasimara, this is not really a recommended option, unless you cannot make it on time to the schedules of the previous trains. Your route would be:
    • Kolkata > Train to New Jalpaiguri > Taxi/Bus to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border
    Trains from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri

    Train Name & NumberDeparture Station - TimeArrival Station - TimeSchedule
    Testa Torsa Express Train No. 13141Sealdah - 13:40New Jalpaiguri - 2:40Daily
    Howrah New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express Train No. 12041Howrah Junction - 14:15New Jalpaiguri - 22:25Daily except Sunday
    Saraighat Express Train No. 12345Howrah Junction - 15:50New Jalpaiguri - 1:40Daily
    Kamrup Express Train No. 15959Howrah Junction - 17:35New Jalpaiguri - 6:20Daily
    Uttar Banga Express Train No. 13147Sealdah - 19:35New Jalpaiguri - 6:45Daily
    Journey duration would be around 10 to 14 hours, more or less. You can choose from the same railway stations in Kolkata, Howrah Junction or Sealdah. There are many more trains plying this route but the ones listed above are those that have daily schedules or many schedules within a week.

    Train Fares from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri

    ClassFare
    First Class ACRs. 2,170
    Second Class ACRs. 1,295
    Third Class ACRs. 915
    Sleeper ClassRs. 350
    GeneralRs. 200
    From the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border is about 150 kilometres away. You can choose to hire a taxi, which costs around Rs. 1,700 to Rs. 2,000 to reach the border. Or you can opt for a cheaper mode of travel, via bus, which are plenty in Siliguri. Just ride a taxi to take you to the Siliguri Bus Stand, it won't cost more than Rs. 100. Then, from the Siliguri Bus Stand, board a bus going to Jaigaon. There are two buses, operated by the Royal Bhutanese Government, plying through this route daily.

    Buses from Siliguri to Jaigaon

    Bus NumberDeparture TimeFare
    Bus No. 17:30Rs. 80
    Bus No. 213:30Rs. 80
    Bus journey can take around 4 to 5 hours, more or less. It can be a bit bumpy though so do take some rest in Jaigaon once you reach it.

    3. Bus to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border - From Kolkata, there are direct buses plying to the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border. Journey duration would be around 18 to 20 hours. It's a bit long so if you're not used to bus journeys, you better avoid this option. Cost-wise, it is very inexpensive and very suitable for budget travellers. This bus is also operated by the Royal Bhutanese Government but there is only one bus plying a few days a week to the border.

    Bus from Kolkata to Jaigaon/Phuentsholing Border

    Departure TimeScheduleFare
    19:00Tuesday, Thursday and SaturdayRs. 653
    →How to Reach Bongaigaon/Gelephu Border from Kolkata

    1. By Train to New Bongaigaon and Taxi to Bongaigaon/Gelephu Border - There are direct trains plying from Kolkata to the New Bongaigaon Railway Station in Assam. Journey duration would be around 15 to 20 hours, more or less.

    Trains from Kolkata to New Bongaigaon

    Train Name & NumberDeparture Station - TimeArrival Station - TimeSchedule
    Guwahati Garib Rath Train No. 12517Kolkata - 21:40New Bongaigaon - 12:35Sunday and Thursday
    Kanchanjanga Express Train No. 25657Sealdah - 6:35New Bongaigaon - 00:30Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
    Saraighat Express Train No. 12345Howrah Junction - 15:50New Bongaigaon - 6:28Daily
    Kamrup Express Train No. 15959Howrah Junction - 17:35New Bongaigaon - 11:40Daily
    Guwahati Express Train No. 12515Kolkata Santragachi- 10:03New Bongaigaon - 2:20Tuesday
    There are many more trains plying this route but most of them don't have daily schedules. So do check their schedules and timings in advance so you can fit it into your personal schedule.

    Train Fares from Kolkata to New Bongaigaon

    ClassFare
    First Class ACRs. 1,235
    Second Class ACRs. 740
    Third Class ACRs. 540
    Sleeper ClassRs. 170
    From New Bongaigaon, the Bongaigaon/Gelephu Border is about 57 kilometres away or a 2-hour road journey. You have no other option, at this point, but to ride a taxi from the railway station to the border. It would cost around Rs. 1,300 to Rs. 1,500.

    →How to Reach Darangamela/Samdrup Jongkhar Border from Kolkata

    1. By Train to Rangiya and Taxi to Darangamela/Samdrup Jongkhar Border - The nearest railway station to the Darangamela/Samdrup Jongkhar is the Rangiya Junction in Assam, near Guwahati. There are some trains directly plying from Kolkata to this station. Journey duration is around 17 to 24 hours.

    Trains from Kolkata to Rangiya Junction

    Train Name & NumberDeparture Station - TimeArrival Station - TimeSchedule
    Kanchanjanga Express Train No. 15657Sealdah - 6:35Rangiya - 2:20Tuesday and Friday
    Kanchanjanga Express Train No. 25657Sealdah - 6:35Rangiya - 2:20Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
    Guwahati Express Train No. 12507Kolkata Santragachi- 13:10Rangiya - 6:12Thursday
    Kamrup Express Train No. 15959Howrah Junction - 17:35Rangiya - 13:35Daily
    Guwahati Express Train No. 12515Kolkata Santragachi- 10:03Rangiya - 4:00Tuesday
    As you can see, trains are quite sparse but you can still find a few that would fit within your schedule. Fares differ depending on the class too.

    Train Fares from Kolkata to Rangiya Junction

    ClassFare
    Second Class ACRs. 1,785
    Third Class ACRs. 1,245
    SleeperRs. 475
    From Rangiya Junction, the Darangamela/Samdrup Jongkhar Border is just an hour away. There is no other option from here but taking a taxi to reach the border, which can cost anywhere between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,200.

    I hope this helps you.
     


  3. Santosh K Ghosh

    Santosh K Ghosh New Member

    How to reach Phuentsholing if I come from Jayanti / Buxa?
     
  4. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    You could take a train to New Jalpaiguri and then a shared jeep or a bus to the Jaigaon/Phuentsholing border from where all sorts of buses and shared taxis/jeeps are available for Thimphu and other destinations.