Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians
Citizens of India are lucky that they need not pay the daily tourist tariff of USD 250/night and moreover they can enjoy the luxury of traveling on their own, rather than through an expensive travel agent. But, the immigration rules are different from other countries. This post helps you how to get into Bhutan either to Thimphu or Paro, from any where in India, get an immigration permit and exit Bhutan. Remember this is only for Indians.
Entry Into Bhutan
India has three entry points into Bhutan through road one each at Phuentsholing, Gelephu (maybe used only for exit) and Samdrup Jongkhar. The best option is to use the primary route that is through Phuentsholing. Phuentsholing shares neighborhood with the town of Jaigaon on the Indian side. You could just cross the border on foot from Jaigaon through an official entry point.You do not need any permits to enter the Phuentsholing.
Getting permit to enter Thimphu and Paro
A few steps away from the entry point, adjacent to the petrol filling station you will find the Immigration office. Just go to the first floor and fill in the immigration form and submit it at the respective counter. Remember to submit the filled form along with photo copy of any identification proof(like passport, ration card, election card) and two passport sized colored photographs. Then they take your photo on their camera and ask you to come back later after 30 minutes, though it might take longer. In the mean time you walk to the Zangto Pelri Lhakhang and also walk to the Dhoti Chhu river which a 15 minute walk from there. Then get back to immigration office to collect your permit which would be valid for seven days and gives you entry only to Thimphu and Paro.
Getting to Thimphu
Getting from Phuentsholing to Thimphu is quiet easy. Just walk to the bus stop, there is a bus almost every 30 minutes to Thimphu, go to the ticket counter in side the bus station and purchase a Toyota Coaster ticket that costs you Nu 200. These buses are comfortable and take up to 6 hours to reach Thimphu. The journey takes you through the true forests of Bhutan entering the high altitudes, where the earth touch the clouds. It would be better if you could take the window seat to experience the natural beauty of the mountain kingdom. On the route you need to get your permit stamped at two check posts, the first one at Rinchending and the second one at Tanalum. The bus driver would help you getting the permit stamped, so you need not worry.
Extending your permit and getting special entry permits
(All other places like Punakha, Bumthang, etc)
If you want to extend your permit or get special entry permit to the other districts of Bhutan, you need to apply for such permits at the Immigration Office in Thimphu, which is on the far end of the Norzim Lam. If you want to get special permits for entering the other districts of Bhutan, you need to write your whole itinerary on a paper and submit it along with the respective form nd photocopy of your earlier permit.