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How To Reach Bhutan From New Jalpaiguri?

Discussion in 'Bhutan' started by HarshM, Sep 13, 2023.

  1. HarshM

    HarshM New Member

    So my next holiday with my wife is being planned for Bhutan, my fingers crossed!

    We have some relatives who we will be visiting in Jalpaiguri, and from there, we have decided to leave for Bhutan.
    It would be good if someone could guide us on how to reach Bhutan from New Jalpaiguri, please include any other necessary information as well.

  2. Prits

    Prits Member

    Traveling from New Jalpaiguri, India, to Bhutan is an exciting journey that will take you through picturesque landscapes and eventually lead you to the serene beauty of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan is known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to reach Bhutan from New Jalpaiguri, along with some important information:

    Step 1: Reach New Jalpaiguri (NJP):

    • New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is a major railway station in the state of West Bengal, India. You can reach NJP by train from various cities in India. Alternatively, you can also consider flying to Bagdogra Airport, which is the nearest airport to NJP.
    Step 2: Choose Your Entry Point to Bhutan:

    • Bhutan has several entry points, but the most common one for travelers from New Jalpaiguri is Phuentsholing, which is on the border with India. You'll need to obtain a permit to enter Bhutan, and this can be done in Phuentsholing.
    Step 3: Obtain a Bhutan Entry Permit:

    • To enter Bhutan, Indian citizens do not require a visa, but you will need a permit. You can obtain this permit in Phuentsholing by providing the following documents:
      • Valid passport or voter ID card.
      • Passport-sized photographs.
      • Hotel booking confirmation in Bhutan.
      • Details of your itinerary.
    Step 4: Travel from New Jalpaiguri to Phuentsholing:

    • The distance from New Jalpaiguri to Phuentsholing is approximately 165 kilometers (102 miles). You can choose to travel by road. Here are your options:
      • By Bus: There are regular bus services between New Jalpaiguri and Phuentsholing. The journey takes around 4-5 hours.
      • By Taxi: You can hire a taxi or a private vehicle for a more comfortable and convenient journey. It will take a similar amount of time.
    Step 5: Reach Phuentsholing, Bhutan:

    • Once you reach Phuentsholing, you will need to complete the immigration and permit formalities. Ensure that you have all the required documents mentioned in Step 3.
    Step 6: Explore Bhutan:

    • After obtaining your permit, you can start exploring Bhutan. Phuentsholing itself has some interesting places to visit, such as the Bhutan Gate and Karbandi Monastery. However, most travelers proceed to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, which is approximately a 5-6 hour drive from Phuentsholing.
    Important Tips:

    • Make sure to check the latest entry requirements and permit procedures as they may change.
    • The best time to visit Bhutan is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant.
    • Bhutan's currency is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN), but Indian Rupees (INR) are widely accepted.
    • Respect local customs and traditions, as Bhutan is known for its strong cultural heritage.
    Traveling to Bhutan is a unique experience, and the journey itself is filled with stunning vistas of the Himalayas and charming villages. Bhutan's serene atmosphere and the warmth of its people make it a destination worth exploring. Enjoy your trip!

  3. HarshM

    HarshM New Member

    The information you provided about traveling from New Jalpaiguri to Bhutan is excellent! It covers all the essential steps and includes some valuable tips for travelers. Here are some additional thoughts:

    • Visas for Non-Indian Citizens: While you mentioned that Indian citizens don't require visas, it would be helpful to clarify that visitors from other countries do need a visa obtained through a registered Bhutanese tour operator.
    • Alternative for Step 2: Briefly mentioning the option to fly into Paro Airport in Bhutan from Bagdogra Airport could be helpful for those wanting a faster travel option.
    • Costs: Including a brief mention of the expected costs for permits, transportation, and accommodation might be useful for budgeting purposes.
    Overall, your guide is informative and well-structured. Here's how you could incorporate the suggestions:

    Step 2: Choose Your Entry Point to Bhutan:

    Bhutan has several entry points, but the most common ones for travelers from New Jalpaiguri are Phuentsholing and Paro. Phuentsholing is accessible by road, while Paro can be reached by air from Bagdogra Airport in India. You'll need to obtain a permit to enter Bhutan, and this can be done in Phuentsholing for land entry or through your tour operator for air travel.

    Additional Information:

    • Visas: While Indian citizens can obtain a permit upon arrival in Phuentsholing, visitors from other countries require a visa processed beforehand through a registered Bhutanese tour operator.
    • Costs: Permit fees, transportation costs, and accommodation prices vary depending on your travel style and itinerary. Budget guesthouses are available, but Bhutan generally caters to a mid-range to high-end tourism market.
    By incorporating these suggestions, your guide becomes even more comprehensive and informative for travelers planning a trip to Bhutan from New Jalpaiguri.