Travel guide for Indian Tourist

Travel documents requirement for Indian tourists visiting Bhutan

Indian tourists visiting Bhutan are required to carry either a valid Indian passport which has a minimum validity of six months or valid Voter Identity card issued by Election Commission of India. Indian tourists do not require tourist visa to visit Bhutan. However entry permits must be processed to enter into the country. The entry permits can be processed on arrival or in advance by a local travel agent in Bhutan. 

Processing entry permits for Indian tourists visiting Bhutan

Indian tourists must process for an entry permit on arrival either at the airport or at the Department of Immigration Office at the point of entry if traveling by road. With the entry permits, Indian tourists can stay up to 15 days in Bhutan with possibility of extension subject to approval by the Immigration.

Documents required for processing entry permit for Indian tourists

  • Valid Indian passport with a minimum validity of 6 months or valid Voter Identity Card
  • Duly filled entry permit application form
  • 2 standard size passport photographs
  • Hotel booking voucher (hotel bookings in Bhutan must be confirmed prior to applying for the permit)
  • Tour Guide details (Indian tourists must avail the service of a certified local tour guide)
  • Processing the entry permit can take up to few hours and for Indian tourists travelling to Bhutan by road should note that the Department of Immigration offices are closed during the weekends and therefore must plan their trip accordingly to avoid unnecessary delays.

Indian tourists must note that the entry permit allows them to enter Bhutan and visit Paro, Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar district only. For Indian tourists wishing to visit other places which are not included in the list must apply for Route permit on arrival in Thimphu at the Immigration office.

Documents required for processing route permit for Indian tourists

  • Valid Indian passport with a minimum validity of 6 months or valid Voter Identity Card
  • Duly filled route permit application form
  • Copy of the Entry Permit

These must be processed and should not be ignored. The immigration check post en route to most places will check for this permit and Indian tourists failing to apply for it will not be allowed to continue their journey.

Procedures for Indian tourists wishing to drive private Indian car to Bhutan

Indian tourists wishing to drive private Indian car to Bhutan must apply and avail authorization letter from the Royal Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan (RSTA) on arrival at the border town prior to proceeding to other places in Bhutan.

Documents required for processing the authorized letter from RSTA Bhutan

  • Vehicle insurance
  • Vehicle fitness certificate
  • Valid driver’s license copy
  • Entry Permit Copy
  • Copy of Passport/Valid Voter ID Card
  • Duly filled authorized letter application form
  • Authorized letter from the owner of the car

Flights to Bhutan from India

The Royal Bhutan Airlines and Bhutan Airlines operate inbound flights to Paro International Airport in Bhutan from New Delhi, Kolkata and Bagdogra airport in West Bengal and Guwahati airport in Assam.

Flight duration from various Indian cities to Paro Bhutan

From To Flight Duration
New Delhi Paro Bhutan 3 hours
Kolkata Paro Bhutan 40 minutes
Bagdogra Paro Bhutan 30 minutes
Guwahati Paro Bhutan 30 minutes

Traveling to Bhutan by road from India

There are three border entries from southern Bhutan. Phuentsholing town in the south western Bhutan links with Indian state of West Bengal. It is roughly 170 kilometers away from Bagdogra International Airport in West Bengal. Tourists can catch a taxi or local bus and drive to Phuentsholing town from the airport. It is about 5 hours’ drive from the airport to the border town. This is the most popular point of entry for tourists in Bhutan.

Gelephu town in south central region and Samdrup Jongkhar town in south eastern region connects to the Indian state of Assam. Guwahati International airport in Assam is roughly 105 kilometers away from Samdrup Jongkhar town. Tourists can catch a taxi or local bus and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar town from the airport. It is about 3 hours’ drive from the airport to the border town. This point of entry is recommended if tourists plan on exploring the eastern region.

Tour options for Indian travelers

Bhutan honeymoon tour

Bhutan is the perfect destination for couples looking for some break time after a series of exhausting wedding programs because every couple deserves a beautiful beginning of their lovely journey for a lifetime of togetherness.  Or for couples looking for a chance to reignite their love by spending some quite alone time away from home and a much deserved break from the kids and the families. Bhutan offers the best couple experience with tailor-made tours just designed for your comfort and likings.

For a memorable honeymoon couples can choose to stay in the most tranquil private resorts tucked away into the secluded beautiful mountains with the most beautiful views to wake up to. There are always the popular tourist attractions to explore together and if the pair is quite the adventurous type they can take a hike to the most amazing tiger’s nest or choose to camp at the most beautiful campsite under the stars and enjoy a mini night picnic gazing at the beautiful stars.

Bhutan family tour

Bhutan is the perfect holiday destination for your family as it offers a wide variety of group activities and provides a chance to explore this rich culture infused country with the people you love the most in this world.

Bhutan can be chance for your family to relax and breathe some fresh air by taking a break from the scorching heat. For the best experience as a family, you can choose to explore the popular tourist attraction of the country like the Buddha point which is considered the largest statue of sitting Buddha in the world. It’s very important that your kids also have the best memory of their tour, so the Motithang Takin preserve which is a mini zoo, centenary children’s park near the Changlimithang stadium and national museums can be great for your kids.

Bhutan nature & adventure tours

Bhutan is guarded by high Himalayan snowcapped mountains and blessed with glacial fed river navigating lush valleys across the country. The range of climatic conditions cramped in this small country has rewarded Bhutan with rich ecology and diverse natural environment. The mountainous terrain in most part of the country are accessible by motor roads and the stop at the mountain passes at over 3000 meters offers a spectacular view of the Himalayas and rejuvenating moments for all travelers. For thrill seekers, Bhutan offers river rafting and kayaking on some of the largest river basin passing few historic monuments. For the nature lovers, Bhutan offers photography and wildlife safari in some protected nature preserves and many hiking and trekking trails.

Bhutan motor biking tours

Cross country motor bike tour is getting popular among the Indian bikers. Bikers start their journey from southern western border of Phuntsholing town and ride north to the capital city. Bikers continue their journey to the extreme eastern region of Bhutan before descending to the southern eastern border of Samdrup Jongkhar district and exit to Indian state of Assam. The journey takes bikers through many districts in Bhutan including most popular tourists attractions and few secluded villages. Bikers will also come across four major mountain passes at over 3000 meters. Bikers will ride through the sub-tropical climatic region to the cold mountain passes which may be covered in snow depending on the travelling period. The journey is sure to offer an adventurous experience.

Bhutan cultural tours

Bhutan can be a paradise for history enthusiasts. Bhutan is considered a living monument. Its self-imposed isolation has helped Bhutan preserve and keep its ancient heritage relevant in the modern era. Tourists can explore the medieval fortresses across the country. Tourists can learn about its history and understand how these ancient fortresses still remain occupied and play a significant role in modern administration.

Visit to the country side offers a way to understand the Bhutanese traditional way of living. With the boom of the tourism industry, many scenic country sides offer authentic farm stay experience. It includes spending a night in a traditional Bhutanese house; enjoy Bhutanese cuisine, a hot stone bath and interaction with the local people.

Shopping in Bhutan

Shopping in Bhutan in itself is an amazing experience while traveling to Bhutan. Shopping in Bhutan is an opportunity to learn about exclusively authentic arts and crafts of Bhutan. Native to only some regions of Bhutan, some handicrafts are unusual and hard to resist. Bhutan has long been known for its rich cultural heritage and its efforts to preserve its unique traditions. Each and every handicraft piece has a history of its own as the art has been passed down for generations in an effort to preserve its significance. Tourists will not only be buying a gift but buying a piece of history. This article endeavors to make you acquainted with top souvenirs that must be collected as the best memories of your Bhutan tour.

Attraction and monument entry fees

Most popular attractions in the country charge tourists an entrance fee. Charges of few attractions are shown below.

Attraction Place Entry Fee Per Person
Tashichhodzong Thimphu Nu. 500
Memorial Chorten Thimphu Nu. 500
Paro Taktshang (Tiger Nest) Paro Nu.1000
National Museum Paro Nu. 500
Kichu Lhakhang Paro Nu. 500
Punakha Dzong Punakha Nu. 500

NOTE* 50% discount is offered to students and children below the age of 5 do not have to pay the entrance fee.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Few temples and monasteries maybe off limits to tourist, so asking permission before entering is a must.
  • Remove your shoes and hats while entering temples and monasteries.
  • It is very important to understand if photography is allowed in some areas as it is strictly prohibited to take photographs of the idols and murals in the monasteries and temples.
  • Visitors should be modestly dressed while visiting important sites like Dzongs and monasteries.
  • Do not wash, swim or dispose waste in lakes which may be considered sacred.
  • Smoking in public area is strictly prohibited and violators will be penalized by authorities.