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How to Reach Bhutan from Siliguri?

Discussion in 'Bhutan' started by Power Ranger, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Power Ranger

    Power Ranger New Member

    We are planning for a road trip to Bhutan sometime in August-September. It will be trip with my buddies. We stay in different parts of India and plan to meet up at Siliguri for the Bhutan trip. The reason for choosing Siliguri as our base is due to the good railway and air connectivity with the rest of India. It is also the nearest major Indian town from the Indo-Bhutan border, if I am not mistaken.

    Has anyone in the forum been to Bhutan by road from Siliguri? Could you please guide us on how to reach Bhutan from Siliguri? We don't have much idea about the mode of transport from Siliguri to Bhutan. Please let us know -

    1. What is the best mode of transport to travel from Silguri to Bhutan?
    2. Is there any regular bus service between Siliguri and Bhutan?
    3. Or travelling by car is a better option?
    4. What is the best route from Siliguri to Bhutan by car?
    5. How long does it take to reach Bhutan from Siliguri?

    Looking for some expert advice and suggestions from the travel gurus out there. Please help!

  2. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    You didn't mention which place in Bhutan would you like to visit. Anyway, access to Bhutan from India is through the border town of Phuentsholing, which is around 160 KM from Siliguri by road.

    Siliguri to Phuentsholing by Bus:

    As far as bus service between Siliguri and Phuentsholing is concerned, the Bhutan Government runs daily buses in this route. There are 2 scheduled trips every day, one at 7:30 Am in the morning and the other at 1:30 PM in the afternoon. There is no online ticket booking facility. Bus tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter at Siliguri Bus Stand on Hill Cart Road.

    Siliguri to Phuentsholing by Taxi:

    You can also opt for taxi service for reaching Phuentsholing from Siliguri. A 5-seater non-Ac taxi will charge around INR 3000 for one way trip. You may need to bargain hard to get better rates.

    Siliguri to Phuentsholing by Car:

    It is also possible to take up the journey by car. There are two routes to reach Phuentsholing from Siliguri. The first route is via Mal Bazar, Chalsa and Nagrakata through NH-31C. The second option is via Maynaguri and Dhupguri via NH-31D. The first route is the shorter one, but the second one is in better condition because it is the lifeline that connects Assam and other North Eastern states with the rest of India (Siliguri-Guwahati National Highway).

    Route 1 (NH-31C + NH317A): Siliguri - Mallaguri - Sevoke Bridge - Mal Bazar - Chalsa - Chapramari Forest - Nagrakata - Birpara - Hasimara - Jaigaon - Phuentsholing :: Total Distance - 157 KM.

    Route 2: (NH-31D + NH317A): Siliguri - Jalpaiguri - Maynaguri - Dhupguri - Gairkata - Birpara - Hasimara - Jaigaon - Phuentsholing :: Total Distance - 167 KM.

    Bhutan Entry Permit:

    You can obtain your Bhutan travel permit from the immigration office at Phuentsholing. If you are travelling in your own vehicle, then you would also need to get the entry permit for the vehicle from the Bhutan RTO office at Phuentsholing. There are quite a few lodges and guest houses at Phuentsholing, so if required, you can stay there for the night before proceeding towards Thimpu the next morning.

    Once all the paper work for entry formalities are done, you can proceed towards the border check post at Richending, which is about 5 KM away from Phuentsholing.

    If you are travelling by bus, then there are direct buses to Thimpu from Phuentsholing bus stand. The distance is around 180 KM and the journey takes around 8 hours.