Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik Reddy has been traveling around the world since completing his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and explore places solo.

287 Comments

  1. Shruthi
    27 September, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    Great Stuff….The pictures are very beautiful

    Reply

  2. Datta
    7 October, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Hey Karthik,

    Thanks for the detailed post, I had a question, Is Visa stamped on the INDIAN PASSPORT while entering BHUTAN or it’s just another piece of paper like permit document.?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 October, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

      Hello Datta,

      No, there is no stamping in the passport. Infact you do not even need a passport to enter Bhutan. You will be given a permit which is printed on a A4 sized paper.

      Have a great tour.

      Reply

  3. Rudolph.A.Furtado
    13 January, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    Will be visiting Thimphu in March-2014.Your blog was informative and thanks for the same.

    Reply

  4. SUISHANTA KUMAR BISWAS
    27 January, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

    Entry form for Bhutan entry through Phuentselling from India in the month of March 2014 with 8 (eight) heads from 15-03-2014 to 22-03-2014.

    Reply

  5. VAMSI KRISHNA
    18 March, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    Hi karthik planning to vist bhutan in may
    i need to know when will Regional Immigration Office, Royal Government of Bhutan in Phuentsholing will be opened and upto what time they will be issue permits is it opened on saturdays and sundays uh?
    Note:we all have passports

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      18 March, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

      Hello Vamshi,
      Timings on weekdays 6am-1pm / 2pm-6pm; Saturday 6am-1pm & Sunday – Closed.
      Enjoy your stay in Bhutan. Its a magical place.

      Reply

      • Jatin Adlakha
        14 April, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

        Hi Sai, thanks for this detailed blog post. I am planning Bhutan for this Sep. Can you please confirm about the office timings. I read on another blog about 9am opening and 3pm closing time. Thanks a ton πŸ™‚

        Reply

      • Kirti
        27 September, 2016 @ 6:11 pm

        Hi Karthik, pls tell me present timings of Immigration office on Saturday.

        Reply

  6. Jasmeet Singh
    27 March, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

    Hey Karthik,
    Firstly thanks for such a detailed post. Its been only of help and nothing else to me till now. I am planning a trip with 4-5 other friends to go to Bhutan during Diwali this year for a 7-8 day trip. Would you be able to tell me an itinerary which will be feasible for that time duration. Also, we are going to solely depend on the public transport that Bhutan will provide us with. Thank you again. Cheers.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      27 March, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

      Hello Jasmeet, Thanks for your appreciation.
      First or first two nights in Paro, next day trek Taktsang Goemba and move to Thimphu (one night in Haa, but permission to visit Haa should be arranged in Thimphu), two nights in Thimphu exploring Thimpu and its outskirts, next night in Punakha via Dochu La and Wangdue, also Phobjikha Valley can be covered if time permits.
      Happy travels.

      Reply

  7. Vibhor Chaudhary
    3 April, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    Hi Karthik,

    I went through your blog , its informative. I’m planning to travel to bhutan wid friends from 29th July till 4th August’14. We are planning to enter and exit via Phuentsholing and include Paro, Thimpu and Punakha during the visit. Would this be feasible in this time period ? Please suggest an itinerary for us.

    Thanks
    Vibhor Chaudhary

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      3 April, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

      Hello Vibor, Yes it can be done. It’s actually not much difficult to do.
      Day 1 – Phuntsholing to Paro (explore the local places in Paro like Paro Dzong, etc assuming you arrive atleast at 1PM).
      Day 2 – Trek the Taksang Goemba. Go to Thimphu.
      Day 3 – Apply for permit to Punakha in the morning. Explore local sites like Trashi Chhoe Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, etc
      Day 4 – Go to Punakha via Dochu La and get back to Thimphu.
      Day 5 – Explore anything if left in Thimphu and leave for Phuentsholing.
      Also, remember to subscribe to our mailing list @ http://eepurl.com/QVoaL

      Reply

  8. ak
    10 April, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

    How is the Phuentsholing to Thimpu road condition now? I plan to take my own car. Also, is the Royal Transport Office is open on Saturday as I will have to take the permit for the vehicle from that office?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      10 April, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

      Hello, I do not have any information about the current road conditions. Yes, its open upto 1 PM on Saturday.

      Reply

  9. Rajdeb Saha
    12 April, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

    Hello Kartik,
    I am from Cooch behar,60 km away from Phuentsholing I have planned to go to Chukha and Paro tomorrow(sunday) with my friend for a day outing.I have planned to take my two wheeler.
    now my questions are-
    1.whether we cloud reach dere without any permit as Immigration office remain closed on sundays
    or is dere any other way of getting permit on sundays ?
    2.Distance of Paro & Chukha from Phuentsholing ?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      13 April, 2014 @ 10:19 am

      Hello Rajdeb, Thanks for writing.
      1. You will not be allowed to cross Phuentsholing without any permits. Sunday its closed no other way.
      2. Paro <--> Chhukha distance is around 80 kms. Paro <--> Phuentsholing is 150kms.

      Reply

  10. Kuntal
    12 May, 2014 @ 12:32 am

    Thanks Karthik for providing all the info.

    I am planning to visit Bhutan next month.
    Can you help me with below doubts.

    I have only 2 days to spend in Bhutan, is it possible to split my journey in such a way that I can spend 1 day in Paro and another in Thimpu?

    If Yes, what are all the places I can visit in both cities?

    if No, how I should be planning?

    Please let me know via commenting here of feel free to drop me an email.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      12 May, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

      Hello Kuntal,

      Yes 2 days is enough.
      Day 1 – explore sights in Thimphu like Trashi Chhoe Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, etc and in the night depart to Paro.
      Day 2 – Early morning hike to Taktsang Goemba, Paro Dzong and at 4PM, you can start your return journey.

      Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the blog http://eepurl.com/QVoaL and visit http://www.thetravelingindian.com for information about how Indians can travel independently and solo.

      Regards, Karthik

      Reply

  11. Aloukik
    21 May, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

    hi kartik,

    My wife and me are travelling to bhutan from Mumbai. 28th May arriving at Baghdogra to Return from Baghdogra 7th June, 2014.
    I need to ask you the following :
    1) Do they issue permit for more than 7 days? and any further requirements for the same ?
    2) Can we get special permit for places other than Paro and thimpu at Phuentsholing itself?
    3) What places other than paro and thimpu are a must visit?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      21 May, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

      Hello Aloukik,

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      1. Yes, permit is issued for seven days only in Phuentsholing, but can be extended in Thimphu.
      2. No, special permits can be applied in Thimphu.
      3. Dochu La and Punakha Dzong are a must vist.
      Visit http://www.thetravelingindian.com for information about how Indians can travel independently and solo.

      Happy travels.

      Thanks, Karthik

      Reply

  12. Zo Hass
    22 June, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    Hi Sir, Planing to visit Bhutan this July 2014. And I play to enter through Phuentsholing and exit through Samdrup Jongkhar. Can you please suggest me the best route, places to stay, precautions etc to be taken while visit. I will be making the trip alone on a bike. Your valuable information will be extremely helpful.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      22 June, 2014 @ 10:55 am

      Hello Zo,
      Thanks for getting in touch. I have traveled only as far as Punakha. Exiting via Samdrup Jongkhar can be an amazing experience and still have to explore it myself. As far I have traveled the roads were in perfect condition except at one place (between Dochu La and Punakha) where a land slide has pushed off a truck into the mountains. It was a horrific sight. The best route could be to visit Paro first and then move on to Thimphu and take the necessary permissions to visit other Dzongkhangs. Take bike that is in good condition as the terrain is very steep. Bhutan is a crime free country, you should not worry about the place where you stay, but keep a watch on hygiene.
      Have a great time, its a magical place.

      Reply

  13. shariq Niaz
    7 July, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    dear Karthik
    from Allahabad willing to go by car. (is it advisable?) what are the Indian car permit rules for going to thimphu. otherwise only train from here reaches Hasimara at 4:30 PM, one full day will be wasted there. whre to stay near hasimara or phuentsoling. what other options how to catch returning train 7AM from hasimara

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 July, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

      Hello Shariq,
      Thanks for writing.
      Yes, you can go by a car only if it is in a good condition. The terrain is steep and rains MIGHT make the road muddy. You need to apply for a vehicle permit in Phuentsholing. I do not have much details about it, but it is not hard. You can stay in Phuentsholing without any permits and there are hotels.

      Reply

  14. MegM
    20 July, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

    Hi, We were arriving at Bagdogra on saturday afternoon, and will probably reach Phuentsholing by 3 pm. On the internet it seems that the permit office if shut on sat and sunday, is that true? What can one do in such a case?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      21 July, 2014 @ 10:16 am

      Hello Megha,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Saturday is a half day and Sunday is closed. You can stay in Phuentholing (not need any permission to stay in Phuentsholing) during those days and this small town is interesting as well. When are you traveling? Do you know that I am going back to Druk Yul, your group can join me as well. More –> http://bit.ly/ToDrukYul

      Reply

  15. jpgupts
    21 July, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    Hi, I want to make a long leisurely trip to Bhutan. What is the duration of permit issued?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      21 July, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

      Hello Gupta,

      Thanks for contacting. Initially you will receive a seven day permit in Phuentsholing which is good only for Paro and Thimphu. Then in Thimpu, you will receive extensions and permits to other places based on you itinerary. But, I guess if the itinerary does not seem logical, you might be denied.

      Reply

  16. priyanka goyal
    20 August, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

    Hello , My flight from Delhi on 1 sep 2014 at 12:30 . Will I be able to go to thimpu on the same day ? It’s Monday so till what time the office will remain open ? Can you help best location hotel’s ? Thank you

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      26 August, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

      Hello, I guess if you are traveling by air, you will get the permit any time any day (even weekends). Yes, Thimphu is not far from airport just about 1 – 1.5 hrs on a taxi. There is a new property in Paro and check it out @ http://on.fb.me/1mMwsyV not sure of the rates though. Accommodation should not be a problem at the places you mentioned, ask the taxi driver and he will find you a good place.

      Reply

  17. priyanka goyal
    20 August, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    Best located hotels In paro and thimpu . Not very expensive .

    Reply

  18. priyanka goyal
    20 August, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

    Are there any cottage in paro, thimpu jakar?

    Reply

  19. priyanka goyal
    20 August, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    Are there any cottage in paro, thimpu and jakar (bumthang) ?

    Reply

    • suraj
      26 August, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

      Dear Priyanka , Yes there are many cottage in Paro – Pelri cottage, Thimphu taba cottage , Wangdue- Punatshangchu Cottage . Bumthang – Jakar Cottage , river lodge cottage .

      Reply

  20. Shalil
    9 September, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

    Hi Karthik,
    Thanks for the post. Very helpful.
    Is it possible to enter via Gelephu?
    A set of questions would follow once I figure out my port of entry πŸ™‚
    Thanks,
    Shalil

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      9 September, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

      Hello Shalil.

      I have not tried that route, but heard that it’s possible.

      Reply

      • Shalil
        10 September, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

        Hi Karthik,
        Is there any way of finding out?
        Can you point me to someone / someplace where I can get this info.
        Thanks,
        Shalil

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          10 September, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

          Hello Shalil,
          “Is there any way of finding out?” Yes, just go and explore(just humor πŸ˜‰ ).

          Check out on Lonely Planet. It’s the best source I guess.

          Reply

  21. ananta
    13 September, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

    I am planning to visit Bhutan next month along with some frnds through Phuentshillong..we have maximum 5 days in hand for the whole trip..plz advice me how to plan the journey in such a way that Thimpu,Paro and Punakha can be covered in the remaining 3 days excluding 2 days for up and down..

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      13 September, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

      Hello Anantha,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Yes, it can be done easily. Phuentsholing–>Paro–>Thimphu(allply permit for Punakha)–>Punakha–>Phuentsholing(via Thimphu)

      Reply

  22. kamal
    14 September, 2014 @ 12:08 am

    Hi karthik,

    Can we apply for the permit at Phuentsholling in advance? what happens if application date and entry date are differ? Suppose we will visit in a future date, Can we get the permit now for a future block of 7 days?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      15 September, 2014 @ 9:17 am

      Hello Kamal,

      Yes you can apply today and go later. But the starting date would be the date you apply and its good only for 7 days.

      Reply

  23. Ranjana
    14 September, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

    Dear Karthik..I am going Bhutan from 1st to 7th and I will reach Thimphu on 3rd….7th morning we will be back and between 3rd to 5th all offices in thimphu are closed is it possible they have separte desk for holidays to get inner line permit, or is it possible tht we get permit early morning for punkha nad go to punkha same day on 6th

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      15 September, 2014 @ 9:21 am

      Hello Ranjana,

      If all the offices are closed, then this one also would be closed.
      Punakha is very close to Thimphu and you can visit it on 6th and come back to Thimphu same day & still there will be plenty of time.

      Reply

      • ananta
        22 September, 2014 @ 8:45 am

        Is it possible to make Thimpu the base and visit Punakha from there and return Thimpu by the night ? I dont wanna stay at Punakha..

        Reply

  24. Jaganath Pokhrel
    16 October, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    Karthik
    Your posts are really informative and would like to thank for sharing. I would like to ask few things as follow:
    1. Can we ride to thimphu, paro and other places of Bhutan by our our motor cycle/Bike (Indian Number plate)
    2. Are we allowed to travel to all part of Bhutan after getting permit from thimphu or some restriction is there in some part of Bhutan?
    Looking for your support

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      23 October, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

      Hello Jaganath,

      Thanks for getting in touch.
      1. Yes, you need to take a motor permit in Phuentsholing, before ride to other parts.
      2. Yes, you can travel to most of Bhutan if you have the permit and it’s very easy to apply.

      Reply

  25. Sweta
    13 November, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

    Hi Sai,

    Kuddos for such an informative piece. I want to travel Bhutan but my passport has expired. Also, I do not have the voters card or election id card. Are there any other documents that I can produce to get the permission to travel Bhutan? I am planning to go by air.

    Reply

  26. Sims
    23 November, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

    Hello Sai,
    Thank you so much for your detailed post on Bhutan immigration!
    Me and my family (all Indians) will travel to Bhutan in December. We plan to go to Paro from Phuntsholing and trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery the next day. I read that one needs a special cultural permit to visit the monastery. Is that true? Can any Indian who has been there confirm, please?
    The reason we are not going to Thimpu initially because it will be weekends and we can’t get any kind of special permit anyway.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      24 November, 2014 @ 7:19 am

      Hello,

      The permit you get in Phuentsholing is good enough to trek Tiger Nest. No special permit required.

      Reply

  27. Shalil
    24 November, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    Hi Karthik,
    As only INR 100 notes are valid there, do you have to carry a bunch of 100 rupee notes for the whole trip? As opposed to using credit cards or ATMs?
    Also regarding mobile network, are sims easily available with data connectivity?
    Thanks,
    Shalil

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      24 November, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

      Hello Shalil,

      Yes you need to carry 100 bills along with you or you can change 500/1000 bills on the border. SIM cards can be purchased easily, but the data connectivity is not really great.

      Reply

      • Shalil Guha
        26 November, 2014 @ 4:39 am

        So do you suggest carrying cash throughout the trip (10k or so for food/lodging/transport/etc). What would be a rough estimate for hotel stay (budget hotels) in paro & Thimpu?

        Also I have planned out the following for a 3 day trip. Wanted to know your views:
        Day 1 – Reach Phuentsholing around 12 noon. Get permit & go to Paro. Visit Paro Dzong & nearby places. Overnight in Paro.
        Day 2 – Visit Paro Taktsang and then travel to Thimpu. Visit places in & around Thimpu. Overnight in Thimpu
        Day 3 – Visit remaining places in Thimpu and take an evening bus back to Phuentsholing. My train from Hasimara is at 10.30 the next morning.

        Reply

  28. Dr Keval
    30 November, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    very informative
    I with my family planning to visit North east India ( Darjeeling, gangtok, pelling, lachung) in April-2015 end (10days)
    is it advisable to patch up BHUTAN tour (7days) with above mentioned north east trip? or visiting specialy Bhutan is more enjoyable?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      30 November, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

      Hello,

      I would suggest you to dedicate all 7 days to Bhutan. It’s a magical place.

      Reply

  29. dr keval
    1 December, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

    thanks for reply
    I mean to say total 17 days
    ( north east 10days + Bhutan 7days )
    I am from Gujarat.
    is it good to patch up both region trip together OR it may be pretty long time and advisable to visit individualy to feel it…

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      1 December, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

      Hello, Yes you can patch up both the regions. They are pretty close by, so explore both. 17 days just in Bhutan is a long time. Since you are traveling with your family I guess, you are not into trekking.

      Reply

  30. Bikash
    6 December, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    Hi, I’m planning on a trip to bhutan for early 2015 but I don’t really know how much does visa cost. I have part of my extended family living there as a citizen, is there any way I can get family visitation visa. I have also explored getting tourist visa but they are super expensive. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

  31. Keval
    7 December, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    what about Bumthang of central Bhutan.?
    can we cover it with paro, thimpu and punaka in 7days visit of Bhutan ?
    thanks

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 December, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

      Yes you can, but you need to apply (in Thimphu) a special permission to visit Punakha and Bumthang.

      Reply

  32. alif
    9 December, 2014 @ 2:32 am

    hi,
    i am very happy to see such a informative page. i wish to go bhutan from Bangladesh by road. what have to collect from Phuentsholing???, visa stamp on passport or on arrival visa approved paper only from immigration??? which is better for stay at Bhutan booking hotel before or after reached at Bhutan. thanks for your ealiest feedback.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      9 December, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

      Hello Alif,

      For Indian nationals, no need visa, you will receive a permit printed on paper in Phuentsholing immigration office.
      Thimpu Hotel Suggestions – Terma Linca ($$$$) or Hotel Norbuling ($$)
      Paro Hotels Suggestions – Rema Resort ($$) or Nivvana Lodge ($$)
      You can talk with the hotel directly through Facebook page.

      Reply

  33. Dr Keval
    10 December, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

    I am with my family visiting Bhutan in may-2015.
    is it necessary to book hotels in thimpu, paro, punakha? OR Rooms are easily available direct at hotels?
    can you recommend good hotels in above mentioned places?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      11 December, 2014 @ 10:58 am

      Thimpu Hotel Suggestions – Terma Linca ($$$$) or Hotel Norbuling ($$)
      Paro Hotels Suggestions – Rema Resort ($$) or Nivvana Lodge ($$)
      You can talk with the hotel directly through Facebook page.
      Never stayed in Punakha, its very close to Thimphu and can make a day trip from Thimphu to Punakha.

      Reply

  34. Abdul
    22 December, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

    Hi I wanted to visit Buthan for 6 days entering in phuensoling and exiting into Assam jhonkar /samdrup and visit the cities and towns of paro, thimpu, punakha , bumthang and exit at Jhonkar . Can I do this within the 6 days ? Also where do I apply for permit for Punakha,bumthang and for the exit at Samdrup. Is there a good road connecting Bumthang with Samdrup?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      23 December, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

      Hello Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can travel until Bumthang in 6 days. From there to Samdrup Jhonkar would take a couple of days as there are hardly any transport.

      You need to apply for the permit in Thimpu, the office is located at the far end of Norzim Lam near Taj Tashi.

      Reply

  35. priyanka
    24 December, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    Hi Karthik,

    Very informative page. I want to know if thr bus journey from pheuntsholing to thimpu is a comfortable smooth ride? Also i came across suggestions to hire a cab from the indian border town for the entire trip and get ur stay arranged by them. Any info about the costs n safety ? & which travel would you suggest ? The local bus or cab ? We are 2 travelling for 5 days

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      25 December, 2014 @ 7:33 am

      Hello,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The bus from Phuentsholing to Thimphu is comfortable, should have no issues about safety.

      If you want to hire a cab, hire from Thimphu, the cars are much modern, cleaner and safe, than the cars belonging to Indian.

      Reply

  36. Maitreyee
    31 December, 2014 @ 11:08 am

    Hi Karthik,

    Can you please shed light on the internal transport (private taxi) and expenses for the same? Also, what are the costs for special route permits to Haa and Punakha for Indian nationals?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      31 December, 2014 @ 11:45 am

      Hello,

      The taxis are fixed fares from point A to point B. The Bhutanese are not cheaty, so just agree to the rates they say.
      Permits are issued free of charge. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  37. charanjit singh
    12 January, 2015 @ 6:22 pm

    can we get north Indian food in Bhutan.

    Reply

  38. Yogesh
    13 January, 2015 @ 2:52 am

    Hello Karthik,

    I (indian national) wanted to enter Bhutan from Samdrup Jongkhar and end towards thimphu and exit at Phuentsholing.
    1) Is it possible to enter at Samdrup Jongkhar?
    2) What is the validity of the permit issued?
    3) I want to cycle that stretch. Is putting up a tent allowed?
    4) What is a good amount to pay for a homestay if someone invites to stay with them? Do not want to offend with too less or too much.

    Best regards,
    Yogesh

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      13 January, 2015 @ 8:35 am

      Hello Yogesh,

      1. You can enter via S/J but all the permits should be obtained before you go there. They are issued only in Thimphu.
      2. 7 days for the permit issued in Phuentsholing and can travel only to Thimphu & Paro. To travel to other places, a permit needs to be applied in Thimphu and the validity depends on your itinerary.
      3. Not allowed.
      4. Not sure.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  39. hassan kilakarai
    14 January, 2015 @ 1:48 am

    i need to visit bhutan i learn about bhutan visa .

    Reply

  40. Swarnendu Dutta
    25 January, 2015 @ 10:25 pm

    Hi karthik,
    Awesome blog post. πŸ™‚
    We are planning to visit Bhutan end-april of in the month of may. What would be the weather conditions there?
    And what is the expediture for 4 people travelling from kolkata for a week..
    Thanks πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      26 January, 2015 @ 8:02 am

      HI Dutta,

      Thanks for writing. April is the peak season of Bhutan. If you are backpacking 1,200 INR person/day can do the trick.
      Weather – April is the best time to visit Bhutan.

      Reply

      • Swarnendu Dutta
        27 January, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

        Cool..What bou backpacking in the month of may ???

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          27 January, 2015 @ 4:14 pm

          Hello Dutta,

          INR 1200/person/day is already backpacking in Bhutan. April & May are the peak season.

          Reply

          • Swarnendu Dutta
            27 January, 2015 @ 5:16 pm

            So there is no problem of road blockage due to landslides and rainy season havocs..??
            Lil confused at this point.

            Reply

            • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
              27 January, 2015 @ 5:20 pm

              March is a high season and the predicted weather is good. So, there might be no landslides or uneventful ones. Nothing to be worried about.

              Reply

              • Swarnendu Dutta
                27 January, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

                I guess you meant MAY not MARCH…

                Reply

  41. Sulagna Datta
    27 January, 2015 @ 3:09 am

    Hi Karthik,

    We are a group visiting in March. We’ll be reaching Phuentsholing on a Saturday night. Will it be possible to stay overnight at Phuentsholing and enter on Sunday? Or no transction occurs on Sunday?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      27 January, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

      Hi Datta,

      If you have the permit ready by Saturday, you can travel to Thimphu on Sunday.
      If you do not have the permit ready by Saturday, you need to stay in Phuentsholing on Saturday & Sunday, as the office is closed on Sunday.
      There are accommodations in Phuentsholing. Budget – Hotel Peljorling or Moderate – Hotel Druk.

      Reply

      • Shruti Aggarwal
        11 December, 2017 @ 11:50 am

        Is there any way to get permit on Saturday after 1 pm ? Is online permit an option ?

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          11 December, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

          Hi Shruthi

          As of the last time I have been there, applying for permit online was not available.

          Reply

  42. Sudheendra
    27 January, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

    Hi,

    How good it would to visit Bhutan in Feb 2nd week?

    Thanks

    Reply

  43. Swarnendu Dutta
    28 January, 2015 @ 1:26 pm

    We are planning a week visit in bhutan..So far we are planning to visit paro,thimpu and punkaha..
    Could u pls guide us through??

    Reply

  44. Abul Kalam Mohammad Jalaluddin
    5 February, 2015 @ 11:00 am

    Can you inform us Phuentsholing border office open on 21st Feb and 22nd Feb 2015 to get entry pass or not. We can from Bangladesh so what papers we need to collect entry pass

    Reply

  45. Justin
    9 February, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

    Hi Karthik… Great write up…
    I will be traveling solo to Bhutan soon.. will be carrying my Voter ID card… I plan to cover Timphu, Paro and Punakha in 4 days…
    1. As a solo traveler, would i face any issues in obtaining entry pass and special area pass for Punakha? If yes, then how do i go about getting the passes?
    2. In case the bus schedule does not suit my itinerary, are sharing taxis readily available between the above places? Till what time in the evening are sharing cabs available? Any alternate means of getting around?
    3. Any other precautions i might need to take?
    4. I will be entering and exiting via the hasimara – phuentsholing route. Which would be most convenient for a night halt – Hasimara, Jaigaon or Phuentsholing, in trems of safety, budget and availability of onward public transport?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      9 February, 2015 @ 11:19 pm

      Hi there, thanks for your words.
      1. Its easy, nothing to worry
      2. Yes they are, but not at extremely odd times
      3. Just follow your mind, Bhutan is safe
      4. Phuentsholing is the best bet

      Reply

  46. Deep Dutta
    18 February, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

    We are planning to visit bhutan in the month of june for a week. areas we want to visit – thimpu,paro,panokha..is it a good time ?? any danger of landslides etc or too much rains that will spoil the mood..any precautions to take and type of things to carry for monsson travel there ??

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      19 February, 2015 @ 7:24 am

      Hi Deep,

      June is the start of monsoon in Bhutan and my suggestion would be to avoid traveling there during that season.

      Reply

  47. SEBASTIAN XAVIER
    19 February, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

    Hi Kartik,

    Planning to visit Bhutan in second week of May 15 with families for seven to eight days. Can you advise, how we can reach there ? Presently I am stationed at Gujarat, how i can reach from Gujarat upto the border of Bhutan. Which are best hotels and places in Bhutan. Are there any Indian Restaurants.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      19 February, 2015 @ 7:13 pm

      Hi Xavier,

      Firstly, if you not an Indian citizen you cannot travel to Bhutan independently. Yes, there is plenty of Indian food in Bhutan.
      From Gujarat, go to Kolkata. From Kolkata, you can follow the steps mentioned at this page @ http://bit.ly/1Esf4t0

      Reply

  48. priyanka
    23 February, 2015 @ 8:56 am

    I am planning to reach phuentsholing on Saturday morning say at 10 am. Can I get permit on the same day. I am an Indian with a kid having voter Id of mine and school Id of my daughter of 7 years old. Does her birth certificate required. Kindly suggest me.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      23 February, 2015 @ 9:18 am

      Hello,

      Yes, the office is open on Saturday as well.
      I guess only ration card, passport and voter id are good.

      Reply

  49. Amit
    12 March, 2015 @ 1:37 am

    Hi
    Appreciate ur detailed reply to good question asked.
    Pl advice we r planing ride on bikes from india to Thimphu and paro.
    How’s d road conditions. Food and stay in hotel.
    Pl suggest stay points and food joints.
    Places to see in Thimphu and Paro.
    In days days what best we can see in these two places.
    What’s is the expense for two days in bhutan. Just rough idea.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      12 March, 2015 @ 10:02 am

      Hi there,

      Roads – are very good, but landslides occur occasionally, be cautious.
      Food – Indian food is very easy to find. Be adventurous and try out new food.
      Thimphu(2 nights) – Trashi Chhoe Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, Weekend Market, etc
      Paro(1 night) – Taktsang Goemba
      Room – 700 to 1000 INR Double Bed, Food – 250 INR/meal/person

      Reply

      • Akit
        13 March, 2015 @ 1:11 am

        Hi
        Thnx for last reply really helpful.
        Pl advice on fuel station in between thimpu,Paro , Phensilying. We get fuel in that region or we need to carry.
        How about bike care if need assitense on repair or puncture.
        What are d timings we can ride hills.
        Thanx again for great work by you.
        Regards
        Amit

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          13 March, 2015 @ 4:44 am

          Hi there,

          Gas stations are easy to find in Thimphu, Paro and Phuentsholing. Fill it up in Phuentsholing and its good to reach Thimphu and Paro.
          Have not seen any tyre repair shops on the road and I guess no official timings for roads, but don’t travel after its too dark.

          Reply

  50. sangay
    20 March, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

    Hi Reddy
    m planning to visit chrten kora bhutan on 8 or 9th april. Me along with my wife and baby. So cal i get a permit at samdrupjongkher? Coz m worried abt it wether i’l get or not. Reply pl

    Reply

  51. swarnendu dutta
    27 March, 2015 @ 11:42 am

    Hey we are going on the 14th of april.
    I like to know about the nightlife in bhutan and its cost for 3.
    we are interesting in local happening pubs and all..is there any ??

    Reply

  52. anirudh
    28 March, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

    Hi sai, very informative post, please prepare a itinerary for us. We are planning to visit bhutan by motorbike and we will enter to Phuentsholing on 29 may afternoon and we have return ticket from new jalpaiguri on 8th june. We love trekking also, if possible please include treks of one day. We want to cover beautiful places of bhutan.Please help us…thankyou

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      2 April, 2015 @ 10:01 am

      Hello Anirudh,
      Just google for itineraries, there many and choose the one that fits you.
      Bhutan is an amazing place. Have a great time.

      Reply

  53. saten
    28 March, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

    Hi sai, hw r u? We are planning to visit bhutan. We have 10 days in hand, travelling by bike. We are planning to get entry from jaigao and exit from jongkhar. Is it possible to exit from jongkhar. If yes, what are the formalities. Please prepare schedule for us.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      2 April, 2015 @ 10:00 am

      Hello,
      You can exit via SJ and the formalities would be same when you exit Phuentsholing.
      You need to take permission from Thimphu immigration to visit other Dzongkhangs.

      Reply

  54. swarnendu dutta
    8 April, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

    can we get permit after 12afternoon and go to thimpu / paro on the same day (weekday) ??

    and also while returning we have our train from hasimara at 4pm..can we catch the train if we start from paro or thimpu on the same day early moring..

    we are leaving a couple of days later..
    urgent..thanks πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      8 April, 2015 @ 6:23 pm

      Hello, Yes you can get the permit until 4 pm on weekdays.

      Start early (Paro/Thimphu to Phuentsholing assume its a 5/6 hour journey) and you will reach on time.

      Reply

      • swarnendu dutta
        8 April, 2015 @ 11:18 pm

        so if we reach phuentsholing by 2pm, how likely is that we get the permit by 4pm and go to paro the same day ??

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          9 April, 2015 @ 5:29 am

          You can do it. πŸ™‚

          Reply

          • swarnendu dutta
            9 April, 2015 @ 11:57 pm

            sorry to bug you again..and where can we find budget hotels within 800 for 3 people in thimphu and paro ?? and what is the transport cost ? taxi etc ??
            our budget is 12k for 5 days.. ok ??

            Reply

            • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
              10 April, 2015 @ 8:08 am

              Hello,
              You can find accommodation easily, ask the taxi driver. There are plenty of cheap accommodations.
              12,000 should be good enough for 5 day for 3 people.

              Reply

          • swarnendu dutta
            10 April, 2015 @ 3:02 am

            sorry i missed the details in a hurry

            paro – 3 days, thimphu -punakah-thimphu- 3days..

            we like to take taxis wherever possible…and we are 3 ppl..will hit the nightclubs in paro and thimphu…

            we have 12k budget..is it good ?

            what are the budget hotels (within 1 – 1.2k for 3ppl) in thimphu and paro with geyser etc..

            Reply

            • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
              10 April, 2015 @ 8:14 am

              Hello,

              I have not lived in budget hotels in Bhutan, but there are plenty on the Norzim Lam in Thimphu and on the main street in Paro. You can go to Punakha on a day trip and don’t need to stay there.

              Reply

              • swarnendu dutta
                10 April, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

                Also i have read the cost of taking a cycle is $45/cycle/day..is it that much for indians too ??
                what about river rafting??

                Reply

                • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
                  11 April, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

                  Hello Dutta,

                  You just need to experience life. Do not be over cautious just take what comes by.

                  Reply

                  • swarnendu dutta
                    12 April, 2015 @ 1:24 pm

                    we wdnt have been if there were atms available there…as there is no reliable one, we have to think about all these no? practical i guess !!

                    Reply

  55. Akshita
    10 April, 2015 @ 12:46 am

    Hi Karthik,
    Do you anything about entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar? and for how long can i get my permit extended?
    Also, I will be going in August which is not really the best time to go to Bhutan but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on places i should visit.

    Thank you
    Akshita

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      10 April, 2015 @ 8:11 am

      Hello Akshita,

      I have never entered via SJ, so I cannot guide you on this.
      The number of days they extend for you depends on what itinerary you give them.
      I was there one time in Bhutan in August, Thimphu,Paro and Punakha had good weather apart from small land slides.

      Reply

  56. Gautam
    7 May, 2015 @ 11:32 pm

    Hi Karthik
    Can u suggest me good hotels near the immigration office at thimpu?
    Regards
    Gautam

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      11 May, 2015 @ 10:41 am

      Hi Gautam

      Luxury – Taj Tashi; Mid Range – Hotel Norbuling; Backpacker – Hotel Tandin

      Reply

  57. Vishy
    27 May, 2015 @ 11:00 pm

    Hi Kartik,

    Great information provided by you has tempted my family to visit Bhutan this June’15 end. Went through all the inputs above. Just some info from you as on date. Would really appreciate your assistance. We are just 4 members combining of 2 adults and 2 kids. Since i will visiting on a very tight budget, my visit would be restricted to Thimpu for 3 nights.

    1. What is the present local bus / share taxi?
    2. If you can recommend any low budget, good accommodation at Thimpu within INR 1000/night with contact details.
    3. Can i travel to Paro without having to stay there and get back to Thimpu for the night?
    4. Is there any share taxi or bus to enjoy local sightseeing at budget in Thimpu city and Paro..
    5. I also plan to stay at Phuntsholing for a night, since i cannot risk reaching late at Thimpu, having chidren. can i find low budget hotel within INR 800?

    Your valuable inputs, will definitely guide me carry on with my plan to enjoy Bhutan with my family. Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      28 May, 2015 @ 11:16 am

      Hi Vishy

      1. Bus is 200 the last time I traveled from Phuentsholing to Thimphu
      2. Plenty on Norzim Lam, tey Hotel Tandin
      3. Yes, easily
      4. Yes, you will find shared taxis in the taxi stand
      5. Hotel Peljorling

      HAve a great trip.

      Reply

  58. Ankit Bhatia
    28 May, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

    Hello Sai,

    I wanted to know if the copy of a passport works? My passport might be with Spanish Embassy at the time of travelling. I do not have a election id card, what are my options?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      29 May, 2015 @ 10:23 am

      Hello Ankit,

      I heard driver licence is ok too. But on the safer side, carry your passport too.

      Reply

  59. anirban mandal
    31 May, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

    hi karthik,
    thanks for the info.i have a question.what is the timing of these permit offices and do they remain closed on saturday and sunday?is it possible to go to thimpu on the same day after getting the permit?is any permission from my office need to be submitted at the time of applying for the permit at phuentsholling?
    thanks.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      1 June, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

      Hi Anirban,

      Well, I have heard contrasting stories about timings, however if you are not at extremely odd times, it will be open all days.
      Yes, Phuentsholing to Thimphu is just 6hrs, you can go there same day.
      Permission from your office not needed.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  60. Toral
    17 June, 2015 @ 8:22 am

    Hi Karthik,

    I am Toral from Ahmedabad, India.

    Your post is very informative to me. Thanks for posting.

    I will be grateful to you if you can guide me for my few questions.

    I am landing to Bhagdogra on 19th 12 pm and flying back from Bhagdogra on 23rd afternoon.

    1. I am landing to Bhagdogra on 19th June 12:00pm. Do you have any idea how to reach Phuentsholing from there(train, bus)? Also will I be able to reach Phuentsholing on time so that I can get visa to Trimphu on same day?

    2. My Husband is reaching to Jaigaon(near Phuentsholing ) early on 19th June, can he take his and my visa in advance so that when I reach to Phuentsholing I dont have to wait to get Visa?

    3. From Phuentsholing , can we get comfortable bus to travel to trimphu? Can I do advance booking?

    4. Could you suggest what to do/visit in my two days trip that is on 20th and 21st June.

    5. Can you suggest any cheap hotel options in trimphu?

    Thanks,
    Toral

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      26 June, 2015 @ 8:27 am

      Hi sorry for getting back late.

      1. From Bagdora,go to Siliguri from where you can take bus to Jaigon/Phuentsholing.
      2. No visa needed to Bhutan. Indians won’t be issued visa, just permit.
      3. Yes, no advanced booking required. If you cannot find bus, plenty of shared taxis.
      4. http://wikitravel.org/en/Thimphu
      5. Plenty of them on Norzim Lam. You wont find them on internet.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  61. Oak Lee
    7 July, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

    Sorry, so they don’t stamp anything on your passport for entering Bhutan through Phuentsholing? I collect stamps and I feel sad about this. Do you know if we can request a stamp though?

    Reply

    • Oak Lee
      7 July, 2015 @ 10:08 pm

      I’m Indonesian by they way. Maybe they will stamp your passport if you are non-Indian?

      Reply

      • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
        15 July, 2015 @ 1:05 pm

        Hi

        Indonesians get stamped in the passport. Only Indians who do not get stamped. πŸ™‚

        Reply

  62. Tanusree Hui
    31 July, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

    We are going to Bhutan on December, we are reaching Thimpu on Friday evening. We are staying in Bhutan for 12 days, so need permission from Thimpu office, can i get permission in Saturday?

    Reply

  63. Manish
    6 August, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

    i make a program to visit Bhutan in August and want to visit Thimpu, Paro. But as per butanees, single person as a tourist is not allowed for Thimpu and you also not get immigration if you want to go for business development activities.

    Then it means there is not way for single person to visit Thimpu.

    regards
    It means

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      11 August, 2015 @ 8:03 am

      Hi Manish

      They do allow solo person to travel in Bhutan. I have done it couple of times. The immigration will ask you why are you traveling solo, then just give your genuine reason and they will allow you. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  64. Prashant
    19 August, 2015 @ 9:32 pm

    Hi karthik,

    We 4 of us are planning for cross country ride to Bhutan from 1st Oct.
    1. How are the rules for riders in Bhutan ?
    2. Is there any special permit needed for bikes ?
    3. Also we are planning to cover punakha & trongsa and exiting through gelephu. For such a itinerary where can I get the permit @ phuetsholing or @ thimphu
    4. Are there any adventurous activities in Bhutan ?

    Regards

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 September, 2015 @ 6:20 am

      Hi Prashant

      1. You can take your bikes within Bhutan, as long as you have a motor permit issued in Phuentsholing. It’s a easy process, but need 3-4 hours depending on the situation.
      2. Yes, see above
      3. You need to apply for the permit in Thimphu, the permit you get in Phuentsholing is good only for Thimphu and Paro, but the motor permit is good for all Bhutan
      4. Plenty – just research, plenty of hiking, but not all seasons are good for hiking.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  65. Prateek
    12 September, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

    Hey kartik..thanks a ton for this post as it helped to a great extent..but still I have so many questions coming up in my mind..pls help bro..we are two couples travelling to Bhutan for 7 nights on 26th September 2015. Our flight will reach to bagdogra airport on Saturday 4pm. And most probably we will reach phuentsholling by night. But next day being Sunday..how can we enter thimphu? Saturday night we can stay at phuentsholling but don’t want to waste one more night staying there. Pls suggest how can we obtain a permit on Saturday itself.?
    Also pls suggest taking a can from bagdigra for good 8 days will be a good option as we have a limited budget too. Pls suggest…since girls will be there with us and lots of stuff..so would it be a good option if we take seperate taxi everywhere we go?
    Thanks in advance brother. Pls suggest.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      25 September, 2015 @ 5:06 am

      Hi Prateek

      I guess there is no other way, if you are going there on Saturday night. You have to stay in Phuentsholing on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a good place to hang around. Do not worry about the cost and safety of taxis. Bhutanese are very fair and they don’t play foul.

      Have a great trip. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  66. chirag
    16 September, 2015 @ 11:07 am

    Hi karthik,
    I have gone though many of your posts here. 1st of all thanks for advising so many tourist.
    we are ground of 3 planning to visit Bhutan in Oct.
    as per plan we would be reaching Jaigaon on 4th Oct. (Sunday) as understood permit office is closed. so no option but to wait…..so would hault in Jaigaon.
    What time does it open on Monday ?
    out plan is as follows suggest if any modification is required…. (One of your plan slightly modified)

    Day 1 – Phuntsholing to Paro (explore the local places in Paro like Paro Dzong, etc assuming you arrive atleast at 1 PM).
    Day 2 – Trek the Taksang Goemba. Go to Thimphu.
    Day 3 – Apply for permit to Punakha in the morning. Explore local sites like Trashi Chhoe Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, etc
    Day 4 – Go to Punakha via Dochu La and get back to Thimphu.
    Day 5 – Dochu La and Punakha Dzong back Thimphu.
    Day 6 – Explore anything if left in Thimphu and leave for Phuentsholing

    Thanks in advance

    Chirag Shah

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      25 September, 2015 @ 5:10 am

      Hi Chirag,

      I guess it should open at 8 am. But you can easily be in Paro like 2 pm, if you go to the immigration office early.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  67. Arojit Biswas
    2 October, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    Dear Karthik,

    Thanks for the useful posts ! Plz guide me on the following :
    1) Is october the right time to visit.
    2) Are good comfortable buses available for travelling from Phuentsholing to paro just like you mentioned about Phuentsholing to Thimphu.
    3) What are the approximate rates/cost per km or day if i take cab from Thimphu for rest of my trip within Bhutan. Hope it does not get too expensive compared to taking Indian vehicles.
    4) The rates you have mentioned for the hotels in Bhutan are quite low compared to what i see online, what is the best way to get the best deal, online or directly with the hotels.

    Thanks,
    Arojit

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      4 October, 2015 @ 11:32 am

      Hi Arojit
      1. Yes, I have been there once in October and its a good time to visit with few festivals happening in Thimphu.
      2. Yes, the buses are comfortable enough, but not luxury.
      3. The taxis in Bhutan are more fair than in India. If you are traveling alone, you can find shared taxis.
      4. The hotels I mentioned are not listed online. So, go directly.

      Have a great trip. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  68. swati
    14 October, 2015 @ 11:57 pm

    Hi karthik,

    I am woman solo traveler and want to travel in November.Is solo travelling allowed in bhutan?

    Thanks
    Swati

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      16 October, 2015 @ 5:15 am

      Hi Swathi

      Yes you can travel solo. The officer at the immigration might ask you why alone?? Give your genuine reason, they will understand. I have traveled solo to Bhutan twice.

      Have a great trip. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  69. Apurva
    21 October, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    Hi Sai Karthik, can you help me and tell me if you find anything that needs to be changed based on your experience. Appreciate your time and support in advance to help out the travelers community . Thanks again (am still to work out details on acco, cycle, bike , since we could be 8-10 of us .etc)

    1. Thursday 17 March (Phuentsholing)
    Flight from Mumbai to Bagdogra.
    Car Drive from Bagdogra to Phuentsholing – 4 hours
    Get permit before 6 PM.
    Night halt at Phuentsholing.

    2. Friday 18 – March (Paro)- Trek Day
    Leave at 5 AM – Car Drive from Phuentsholing to Paro – 4 hours .
    Taktsang Lhakhang – Tigers Nest – from 12 noon to 6 PM,.
    Night halt at Paro

    3. Saturday – 19 March (Paro)- Cycle Day
    Rinpung Dzong -Paro Dzong – (Paro Tsechu Annual Festival day one).
    Local places on Cycle – 10 kms
    Night halt at Paro

    4. Sunday – 20 March 2016 (Thimpu) Cycle Day
    Cycle to Thimpu (65 kms -3/4 hours)
    Local places on Cycle – 10 kms
    Get Permits for other places from Thimpu
    Night halt at Thimpu

    5. Monday – 21 March 2016 (Punakha) Motor Bike Day
    Cheri Gompa / Dochu La / Punakha (75 kms – 2.5 hours)
    Punakha to Gangtey (80 kms – 1.5 hours)
    Night halt at Gangtey

    6. Tuesday – 22 March 2016 – (Gangtey) Motor Bike Day
    Gangtey to Thimpu – (128 Kms – 4 hours)
    Night halt at Thimpu

    7. Wednesday – 23 March 2016 – Holi in India
    Local places
    Car Drive from Thimpu to Phuentsholing – 4 Hours
    Night halt at Phuentsholing.

    8. Thursday – 24 March 2016
    Drive from Phuentsholing to Bagdogra – 4 hours.
    Flight from Mumbai to Bagdogra.

    Reply

  70. shoaib
    22 November, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

    Hi, Sai
    I from rajasthan and I have handicrafts shop. Possible to do business in Bhutan ???

    Reply

  71. Deepak
    3 December, 2015 @ 10:07 am

    I (indian national) wanted to enter Bhutan from Samdrup Jongkhar and end towards thimphu /paro and exit at Phuentsholing.
    1) Is it possible to enter at Samdrup Jongkhar?
    2) What is the validity of the permit issued?
    3) What is the required for identity card
    4) what is the budget for 4 person 6days

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      4 December, 2015 @ 9:50 am

      Hi Deepak

      1. I have no information about entering at Samdrup Jongkhar.
      2. Should be same like the one issued at Phuentsholing, 7 days
      3. Any government issued ID from India
      4. If you are backpacking INR 800 should be enough per person per day

      Have a great trip!!

      Reply

      • deepak
        4 December, 2015 @ 10:01 am

        thnks sai …
        one more question if i entered via Phuentsholing so how many days are permit valid in Bhutan . & again any required permission visit for thampo & paro

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          4 December, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

          Hi Deepak

          The permit you get at Phuentsholing is enough for visiting Paro and Thimphu. It’s valid for 7 days.

          Reply

  72. Dipankar
    12 December, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

    We planned to enter Bhutan via Phuentsholing on 25th Dec 2015 and planned to leave Through Phuentsholing on 2nd Jan 2016. It is more than 7 day. How will we get the permission for 8 days. We will also visit BUMTHAN. I know we have to obtain separate permit at thimpu. What will be the charge for getting permission to enter Bumthan,Gangtey,Tronso etc. . We are from KOLKATA and Indian Citizen. regards

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      14 December, 2015 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Dipankar

      All the permits are issued freely. There are no charges.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  73. Soham Dey
    29 December, 2015 @ 5:01 pm

    Hi Karthik,

    Myself Soham,

    planning to go Bhutan on 11th January 2016. I have some queries

    1. what are the timings of Immigration office at THIMPHU. Upto what time they issue permit for Punakha,Ha Valley.
    2. How long does it take to get the permit.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      30 December, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

      Hi Soham

      1, Usually till 4 PM. For Ha Valley you should take a permit at Royal Govt. of Bhutan Immigration Office at Thimphu on any working days (Monday to Friday).
      2, Depends on the number of people applying. Should be between 1-1.5 hours.

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  74. Sandeep
    15 January, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

    Hi,

    Planning a trip in may. My train will reach NJP at night 1 AM. Plan to travel to Hasimara from there by intercity exp. Arrival time is 8 AM in Hasimara but considering around 1.5 hours of delay I assume it will reach hasimara at9.30 AM. How much time it will take to reach Phuentsholing from station and how to go there ? Once I reach Phuentsholing how much time it will take to get the entry permit done. If permit is issued by 3 PM, can I travel same day ? I am open to take reserved taxi. Till what time I can take reserved taxis ?

    Can I go and come back on same day from Punakha ?

    While returning my return ticket is from New Jalpaiguri at Night 1 AM. if I start early in morning from Paro can I make it to NJP on time ?

    Thanks,
    Sandeep

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      16 January, 2016 @ 2:09 pm

      Hi Sandeep

      Hasimara<<-->>Phuentsholing is just 30 minutes on tuk-tuk/shared auto, what ever you call it. Plenty waiting at the Hasimara railway station. Don’t worry, you don’t need to find them, they will find you.

      Time taken for permit depends on the number of people, but should be within an hour. If you reach Hasimara at 9,30 AM you can reach Thimphu or Paro the same day. Easily doable.

      Yes, you can go to Punakha and back to Thimpu or Paro, same day. Though you need to apply for a permit in Thimphu to go to Punakha.

      Assume, Paro–>Phuentsholing–>Hasimara is 8 to 10 hours (in the worst condition), depending on the road conditions. I am not sure, how long from Hasimara to NJP.

      Have a great trip. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  75. Amol
    27 January, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

    Dear Kartik,

    Thanks for sharing all these information. On 1st March I am planning for Bhutan. I will be coming from Delhi. But most of the flight reach Bagdogra in afternoon. by 2-3. By the time I will reach at Phuentsholing it is like 6-7pm. Can you pls help me in terms of hotels where I can stay & what are the places I can visit. It is very short trip & I will be returning from bagdogra on 6th March.
    Thanks in advance. Give me your contact number if your ok. SO that I can call & have word with you.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      1 February, 2016 @ 11:29 am

      Hi Amol

      You can stay in Phuentsholing that night, lot of affordable hotels.
      You can do Thimpu, Paro & Punakha, in those days.

      Have a great trip.

      Reply

  76. Majulie
    3 February, 2016 @ 8:50 am

    Hi Karthik, read all your posts on Bhutan and found them very informative. We are a group of trekkers planning to do the Druk Path trek.Do you have any idea about arranging treks from Paro? We have been quoted very high rates online. Could Γ½ou suggest a company or should we come to Paro a couple of days early to arrange the trek ourselves. We would like to take it easy so 6 days for the trek and we would like support in carrying luggage. What do you think is a reasonable rate?
    We are all Indians living in Assam and newly smitten trekkers.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      4 February, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

      Hi Majulie

      Sorry, I cannot guide you on this as I have never trekked in Bhutan except for Taktsang.

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  77. Sid
    6 February, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    Hi sai, How much time will it normally take to travel by bike from newjalpaiguri to phuentsholing? Imagine journey statrs at 11am morning? Can permission be taken till 6pm on weekday?
    One last question
    What are the Timings of office in thimphu from where we need to get permission to go beyond thimphu (say, punakha)?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 February, 2016 @ 11:14 am

      Hi Sid

      I have never traveld to Phuentsholing from NJP.
      The timing of the office – usually closes at 4 PM. But you can stay in Phuentsholing without a permit.
      The office at Thimphu closes at 4 PM too.

      Reply

  78. Mahendra Dhondge
    7 February, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

    Hi Karthik, thanks for the info.
    what are the timings of buses from Phuentsholing to Thimphu( after 2 pm)

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      15 February, 2016 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Mahendra

      Usually buses start from Phuentsholing until 4 PM, as the checkpoints closes about 7 PM.

      Reply

  79. Pradipta
    15 February, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

    Hi,
    Is it possible to enter Buutan on a Sunday, will the Phunsiling office for permit be open on a Sunday?
    Regards,
    Pradipta

    Reply

  80. Keval
    25 February, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

    hi
    I am visiting Bhutan on 23rd April to 29th April 2016 with family. as its peak season (I think so) is compulsory to book hotels in Thimpu and Paro in advance? OR we can get good hotels easily without advance booking..
    please give good suggestion…
    thanks

    Reply

  81. Shayeli Moitra
    5 March, 2016 @ 11:17 am

    Do i need to take any valid purchase documents for the handycam or digi cam for Bhutan Trip.

    Reply

  82. Sid
    12 March, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

    Hey karthik is it possible to get permissions from phuentsholing office in the afternoon hours?
    I heard somewhere they only give the letters of permissions in noon tym and not take fresh requests. Is that true?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      12 March, 2016 @ 5:17 pm

      Hi Sid

      I am not completely sure Sid. As long as it is not a weekend, you can get the permit until 4. But this is not verified information.

      Reply

  83. Sid
    25 March, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

    Is it necessary to obtain special permission from thimphu to visit chele la pass?
    Note: only chele la pass not Haa valley.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      28 March, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

      Hi Sid

      Yes, you need a permit at Thimphu office. You can travel only through the roads leading to Thimpu and Paro with the permit you got at Phuentsholing.

      Reply

  84. Soukhin Das
    26 March, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    Sir,
    I have just crossed 18….i don’t have my voter id and passport. But I possess aadhar, school certificate, birth certificate,etc. So how do I get my permission for Bhutan in the month of may…do I have to go to Indian Embassy? How much time will it take for my case?

    Also advise me, should I book a tour operator if yes from where. If not bored to tour Bhutan and what are the places to visit.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      28 March, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

      Hi Soukhin

      All the information you asked, is published in the above article.

      It’s more fun to travel solo along with a tour agent.

      Bhutan is an amazing country. Have a great time.

      Reply

  85. Aakash
    30 March, 2016 @ 3:20 pm

    Hey Karthik,
    Thanks a lot for the information man. I want to ask one thing if only one person wants to travel alone, can we get a permit for a single person?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      31 March, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

      Hi Aakash

      Yes, it is easy for a solo traveler. They might ask you questions about it and be genuine in what your reasons are for traveling solo.

      Have a wonderful trip. πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • Aakash
        1 April, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

        Thanks a lot Karthik. Could you please give me some more information if I take a taxi from Thimphu to Punakha for a sightseeing and from Punakha to Paro. How much they usually charge?Do I need to bargain?From where and which taxi operator should I contact?

        Reply

        • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
          18 April, 2016 @ 8:38 am

          Hi Aaakash

          I do not remember the price, because I was there almost 3 or 4 years back. You do not need to bargain, as the taxi drivers are very fair in Bhutan. Just go to the taxi stand near the bus station or just wave your hand at an empty taxi on the street. Trust me, Bhutanese taxi drivers are fair.

          Reply

  86. Varun
    4 April, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

    Hi,
    Pretty interesting stuff you have here, Sai. I would like to add one thing though. Solo travelers have a write an undertaking and attach it to their application. Write it in detail becuase they will tell you too if you haven’t. Also, I wrote it 3 times before I messed it all up, and now couldn’t enter the country πŸ˜€
    If you don’t want to risk it, then, go through a clearance agent. You will see many after entering the village. Best of luck!

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      18 April, 2016 @ 8:39 am

      Hi Varun

      Thanks for sharing the information. Just give genuine reasons why you are traveling alone, and you are good to go.

      Reply

  87. shailesh Mittal
    20 April, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

    HI,

    Pls advise whether roads from Thimphu to Punakha in Bhutan safe in terms if its condition

    Reply

  88. Gaurav Tiwari
    22 April, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

    Hey Karthik,

    Thanks for wonderful much needed information, apart from this I same some other queries,

    1. We have flight from Bagdogra at 12:30 PM, Can we start from Thimpu to Phuentsholing at night (ard 6 PM) night stay in Phuentsholing. take bus early morning to Bagdogra.

    2. Can we cover Thimpu -> Punakha ( via Dochula, Wangdue) -> Gangtey -> Phobjikha -> Thimpu on same day ( If not what we can skip )

    3. Paro -> Haa -> Paro same day
    4. What we should do to vist ‘Jigme Dorji National Park’ from Thimpu
    5. Should we book hotel in advance or we should book in bhutan directly.

    Many thanks in advance…!!! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      23 April, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

      Hi Gaurav

      1. The road between Thimphu & Phuentsholing, is closed at night, not sure about the timings. Please enquire.
      2. That’s doable.
      3. I guess you can do it, climb Taktsang Monastery early and leave enough time to visit Haa. Remember, visiting Haa & Punakha needs special permit, which will be given in Thimphu.
      4. I did not understand your question.
      5. Booking in advance is always a better option. The best prices are on Agoda.

      Have a safe and wonderful trip.

      Reply

  89. pratiksha
    5 May, 2016 @ 10:09 am

    Hello…. I am going to Bhutan on 9may2016 but my passport is expired and I donot have a voter ID card so wht should I do

    Reply

  90. Remya
    5 May, 2016 @ 11:18 pm

    Hi Sai, very informative details and very kind of you to answer all the queries even after years…
    I too need so much information…planning a trip in 2 weeks time.
    Could you please contact me on my mail please… thanks

    Reply

  91. SWARUPANAND
    7 May, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

    hello sir
    i swarup from india is intrested to go thimpu & paro , so suggest me how many days requires for visit these places(only best visit area),we 6 person including car driver and 2 children, what are the original documents & others requires and detais mail me kindly. we near about to planning for the nice place BHUTAN.

    Reply

  92. Raghav
    14 May, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

    Hi Karthik thanks for all the info. 9 of us are travelling into Bhutan via phunsheling at the border. I noticed visa timings given by you. but as per my agent the office currently issues visa only between 9-12noon. Please can you re clarify. We are there on a thursday

    Reply

  93. Rachna
    14 June, 2016 @ 6:56 am

    Guys do keep voter id cause otherwise they ask for 2 id’s of urs n’ you’ll have to go to embassy for that clearance n’ all..
    I am facing this right now..

    Reply

  94. sandip shaw
    19 June, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

    hi karthik ,
    first of all thanks for your detailed info on bhutan travel. we are a group of 18 travelling to bhutan on the new year week 2017.
    few queries. 1. we reach hasimara by 10.30 am on monday and planning to go to paro. can we reach thimpu before four to collect the permit for haa valley n then move onto paro.
    2. we want to see the punakha dzong in the evening and return to thimpu. is it ok to travel back to thimpu after six pm during the winter months.
    thanks

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      22 June, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

      1. You should apply for the permit in Thimphu in morning time and they will return it in the evening.
      2. Do Punakha in the morning and you will be back in Thimphu by the afternoon.

      Reply

      • deepak
        22 June, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

        pls note Punakha dzong close at 5 PM sharp

        Reply

  95. a udaya bhaskar
    6 July, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

    i went to paro in 26th june’2016. enjoyed the place. next time in dec’2016 i would like to stay in phuntshilong only. can i stay without taking entry permit at phuntshilong in a hotel. can my indian phone works at phuntshilong without taking bhutan tashi sim. kindly explain.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      7 July, 2016 @ 9:01 pm

      Hi

      Yes, you can stay in Phuentsholing without a permit.

      Reply

      • a udaya bhaskar
        8 July, 2016 @ 10:03 am

        thanks for the reply

        Reply

  96. a udaya bhaskar
    25 July, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    i went to paro in 26th june’2016. enjoyed the place. next time in dec’2016 i would like to stay in phuntshilong only. can my indian phone works at phuntshilong without taking bhutan tashi sim. kindly explain.

    Reply

  97. Farhana Yasmin Liza
    26 July, 2016 @ 10:34 pm

    Hello Karthik,
    I am Liza from Bangladesh.
    Want to visit Bhutan by air for the first time in Sep, 9 to 16, with my husband and son.
    I have some qyery.
    1. Can I get Bhutan entry permit from Paro airport and for that I need 2 pp size photo and photocopy of my passport?
    2. For visit other places except Paro and Thimphu, I need permission from Thimphu immigration office – question is which documents are needed to submit to get the permission?
    3. Heard that permission is given only for 7 days for Paro and Thimphu. I can not understand whether we should leave Paro within the 7 days from the time we started from Paro? Pls clear it to me.
    4. Should I submit total tour itinerary?
    ( Actually I wanted to visit Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang, Phobjika via Trongsa and Haa valley. But heard that during September road condition will not be suitable for Bumthang-Phobjika. So I have to cut my tour plan and now my plan is only to travel Thimphu-Punakha-Paro-haa-Paro.)
    5. Can you suggest me the must see places in Paro-Thimphu-Punakha-Haa valley?
    6. I have to start on 9th September-Friday ( my holiday starts from 9th) from Dhaka to Paro by Druk Air. Because Thimphu immigration office is closed on Saturday and Sunday, should I leave for Thimphu on the same day after getting entry permit?
    7. Is it enough to visit the 4 places in 7 days?
    One more thing I want to know if i can manage time, can I visit Phuentsoling without getting permission?

    Sorry dear, there are many things to know at a time.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

  98. Alok
    15 August, 2016 @ 7:07 pm

    Hi Sai

    Thanks for inspiring people like me through your adventures and passion of sharing information. It is very helpful.

    I am planning to travel to Bhutan with my wife from 25 Aug to 10 Sep (13 days), entering via Phuentsholing, but planning to exit via Samdrup Jongkhar. Quick questions please:

    1. Is it legally allowed to enter and exit from different points?

    2. If yes, is it too difficult to balance sight-seeing w/ so many places enroute? Or is it manageable?

    3. We would love to do a trek that’s memorable yet not too difficult for our avg. fitness levels. Can you recommend something?

    4. Should we expect a high price surge during this season?

    Thanks a lot for anything you’d share, in advance.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      27 August, 2016 @ 1:25 am

      Hi Alok

      1. Yes
      2. The route is difficult if you enter from the eastern parts of Bhutan. Phuentsholing should be your number 1 choice of entry and exit.
      3. Taktsang Goemba is about 2-3 hours for an averagely fit person.
      4. Yes

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  99. Akhilesh
    21 August, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

    hello Karthik
    thanks a ton for all the replies to query.

    i was willing to know timings for immigration office working hours.
    i ll be reaching there on Sunday Morning,will i be able to get permit?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      27 August, 2016 @ 1:26 am

      Sunday is most probably a half working day. I have so much contrasting information on this topic. Please let me know, in case you are there.

      Reply

  100. Subhash Choudhury
    30 August, 2016 @ 9:41 am

    I left Gelephu on the first day and reached Thimphu at 7-30 pm via Sarpan Damphu Wangdi Dochu la. Next day went to Paro and Ha. Third day visited Punkha Phobjikha and halt at Trashigang. Forthday tour Bumthang Membertso Ura Trumsingla KurisuHEP and halt at Mongar. Fifthday went to Trashiyangse and halt at Trashigang. Sixthday reach Samdrupjongkhar via Khaling.

    Reply

  101. Sagarika Tarafdar
    9 September, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    Hi Karthik!!!

    we are a group of 6 people and going to phuentsholing tomorrow i.e 10th of september and will reach there by 6 am. can we get the permits made on saturday for thimphu and paro in the first half and leave for the destination???? and how much time would be required for the permits?Awaiting for your response!

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      10 September, 2016 @ 2:30 pm

      Hi Sagarika

      Yes, its takes about an hour for the permits to be ready. Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  102. Mahbub
    15 September, 2016 @ 8:45 am

    Hello Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
    I am outside of India. Can you please tell me one think, Should I take prior permission to go HAA Velly . If it is yes. then I want to know from where i can take this permission? Can I get this PARO?
    Thanks
    Mahbub

    Reply

  103. DEBASIS MITRA
    16 September, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    We plan to visit thimpu,Punakha & Paro during the period for 14.10.16. to 21.10.16.Please inform me whether the Permit issuing office for entering Bhutan at Phuntsholing will open on 13.10.2016.

    Reply

  104. Shivani
    6 October, 2016 @ 9:28 pm

    Hi kartik..
    I need to knw the concept of ‘minimum daily spent’
    As specified by some website of bhutan travels, usd200 would be charged per person for per day…
    Is it so?
    I need to travel from delhi for about 8-10 days with my husband.. what would be an optimum range of money that we need to plan for 8 say stay at bhutan… is it feasible to hire a bike (royal Enfield ) to travel across bhutan?
    Also suggest some good 8 day plan…
    Thanks πŸ™‚

    Reply

  105. Manchal
    24 October, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    HI Kartik
    Thanks, This is really a good informative blog.
    But as I can see over different sites I got different information for entry into Bhutan through Phuntsholing, I with my family travelling to Bhutan on November 12, Saturday. As far as I come to know is, the immigration office remain closed on weekends. Our tickets of 7 people already done. Can you please suggest what else can be done as changing the date would not be easy for us now. Can we get the permit from Embassy of Bhutan from Delhi? or any other option.. ?

    TIA

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      30 October, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

      Hi Manchal

      The last time I was in Bhutan, got a permit on Saturday. I am not sure of the timings though. But, I heard of news that’s even open half days on Sunday. Are you flying?

      Reply

  106. a udaya bhaskar
    25 October, 2016 @ 5:26 pm

    i am traveling alone to Thimpu from Phuntshilong. I am udaya bhaskar from hyderabad. will they allow me the permit at phunshilong office to visit thimpu for single person like me. pl. advise.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      30 October, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

      Yes, I went to Bhutan alone and had no problems. They will ask you why are you traveling alone, so just tell then the reason.

      Reply

  107. Saikat Dasgupta
    1 November, 2016 @ 5:03 pm

    Hii Sai
    I will reach to Phuntshilong border at coming Friday 12.3o at noon.could i get my entry pass for Saturday within evening.i have a plan to cross the border at Saterday morning.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      4 November, 2016 @ 6:43 pm

      Hi Saikat
      Yes, you can. You can do it on Friday too. Since you are arriving in the afternoon. It takes only 1 hour, for the permit to be ready.

      Reply

  108. Vaishakh
    18 November, 2016 @ 12:24 am

    Hi karthk,

    I am in bit of a.mess as I did not know the immigration office was closed on sat and sunday.

    In which case I will be able to spend only 4 days in Bhutan.

    Is there anyway that we can mail over some documents and get advance permit for entry to Bhutan.

    If yes can you let me.know where can one apply

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      13 December, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

      Hi Vaishak

      I guess Saturday the immigration is working. I could not still find a way on how to get an advanced permit.

      Reply

  109. Kaushik SC
    20 November, 2016 @ 11:01 am

    Hi Sai ,
    I am holding Indian passport and need stamp on my passport at the border by immigration while crossing over to Bhutan and coming in , do they do this at the Jaigaon – Phuntshilong border .

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      13 December, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

      HI Kaushik

      They wont stamp pn your passport. Directly walk through the border and take a permit.

      Reply

  110. Pritam Gajmer
    26 November, 2016 @ 8:11 pm

    Hi, I am Pritam Gajmer, I am running a Travel Agency in Jaigaon (W.B. -India), border town of Phuentsholing – Bhutan,
    If any body require any help for traveling Bhutan, you just feel free and contact with me at +91 9609943825

    Reply

  111. Nivin Abraham
    16 January, 2017 @ 4:48 pm

    Hi, thanks for the blog. Just wanted to check if extra permit required from Timphu to Gelephu while exiting Bhutan?

    Reply

  112. sandeep
    30 April, 2017 @ 10:46 am

    can we exit bhutan from t/gang and enter into arunachal pradesh in india (myself indian)

    Reply

  113. Anandu
    4 May, 2017 @ 8:07 am

    Hi Sai,
    Me and my friend is planning to visit bhutan on 24 th may to 30th. we have to return for our train from NJP on 30th may 2.45 am.
    I have heard that Bhutan isuues permit only for group travellers .Will this be an issue for two travellers?
    Also it would be really helpful if u could give me a itenaray for this trip

    Reply

  114. L M JOSHI
    12 May, 2017 @ 6:13 pm

    can we visit twice bhutan in a year as a tourist”

    Reply

  115. Pushan Sengupta
    28 September, 2017 @ 1:12 am

    Hi Sai,

    1. Can you pls clarify how long the visa office at Phuntsoling accepts applications on weekdays? I am getting mixed reviews of this with some saying they accept applications till 4 pm and others saying they close intakes at lunch time.

    2. A friend and I plan to take the train to Hasimara(reaching at 10:45 am) and then a cab to the border.. can you tell us if this is doable in terms of getting the visa on the same day?

    3. We will be reaching on a Friday. Worst case scenario we don’t get out permits on the same day, what are the other ways to get it the next day(can a travel agent help us?)

    Thank you (in advance) for responding to such an elaborate question list. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      28 September, 2017 @ 9:52 am

      Hi Pushan

      1. Yes. The office is open until 5 PM (updated information) on every weekday, not including public holiday.
      2. Hasimara and Phuentsholing are only 40 minutes away.
      3. I guess no. You could easily get a permit on the same day if you could reach the immigration office at 2 PM. 1-2 PM is lunch.

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

      • Pushan Sengupta
        28 September, 2017 @ 9:56 am

        This helps so much. Relief to know they’ll process our visas at 2pm as well. Thank you once again. πŸ™‚

        Reply

  116. Nirvana Trip
    29 September, 2017 @ 3:59 pm

    Excellently detailed. Thanks. Have been thinking of driving to Bhutan.Looking forward to any other posts…!!

    Reply

  117. Adityarup
    9 November, 2017 @ 1:57 pm

    Hi Karthik,
    Thanks a lot for the info. I have one question though. Like we need the entry permit from immigration office, do we need to get any permissions while exiting as well?
    And can we exit Bhutan on weekends?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      9 November, 2017 @ 7:35 pm

      Dear Adityarup

      You need not need any permits to exit Bhutan and you can exit on any day including weekends and holidays.

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  118. shekhar
    14 November, 2017 @ 12:14 pm

    Hi
    I am planning to visit Bhutan in 2nd week of December, is it good time to visit Bhutan?

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      14 November, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

      Hi Shekar

      I been there once during that period. It is fine, but there might be occasional land slides.

      Reply

  119. Adityarup
    14 November, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

    Hello Karthik,
    Just one more question before finalizing my trip ti Bhutan. Since you mentioned that Indians have the privilege of travelling independently in Bhutan without any tour operator, do we need to mention our full itinerary and prebook hotels in Bhutan and show all the receipts while getting the entry permit? Or can we get the permit without pre-booking hotels, and book hotels when and where we reach?
    Also is does the entry permit cost anything or is it free?

    Thanks again

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      15 November, 2017 @ 10:01 am

      Dear Adityarup

      They asked me where I will be staying, but they did not ask me to show the reservation. The permit is free of cost.

      Reply

  120. Rajat
    27 November, 2017 @ 3:05 am

    Hello!

    Thanks for your informative blog! I have a question would love to get your thoughts/opinions on it. I’m in Delhi and I would like to travel to Bhutan before returning back to Europe (I have a European work visa). If the passport is not stamped (I’m an Indian citizen) and if I directly travel to Europe from Bhutan, will I need to go back to India first or I can book the flight directly from Bhutan? Since the passport is not stamped upon entry into Bhutan, will I have trouble leaving the country?

    Reply

  121. Shalu Kalra
    16 May, 2018 @ 3:18 pm

    HI,

    I wanted to know how much time does it take to get permit for going to Punakha. We will reach Thimpu on 26th June afternoon and want to leave for Punakha on 27th Morning.
    Also, Where is Ha Valley and can we plan to see it on our way from Punakha to Paro. Thanks

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      16 May, 2018 @ 4:16 pm

      Hi Shalu

      If you apply for the permit in Thimphu in morning, it will be ready by evening. Haa can be done as a day trip from Paro.

      Have a wonderful trip.

      Reply

  122. Rashmi
    18 May, 2018 @ 4:10 pm

    can you share the exit formalities for Bhutan ? Can we leave from Paro although the entry is from phuentsholing?

    Reply

  123. Neha Singh
    28 May, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

    hello,
    I am travelling to Bhutan on 19th June with my family. my frens have left to bhutan yesterday via bagdogra. Today at immigration office at phuentsoling , it was told to them that server is not working and hence entry permit cannot be issued.They saw that there is a nexus between taxi drivers and immigration office and if u r willing to pay 3000 per day for as long as u stay in bhutan to driver , he gets u permit from back door. Is this the scenario there??
    I am hell worried about my june trip now going by this scenario. Because I am taking my family along , we got kids too. If this is how we will be stuck at border, its worrisome. Please share your experience.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      29 May, 2018 @ 3:51 pm

      Hi Neha

      I have not been to Bhutan in the last 3 years. So I am not updated with the latest happenings.

      I visited Bhutan twice the process was straight forward without any corruption.

      Reply

  124. Neha Singh
    28 May, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

    hello,
    how easy it is to get a permit at immigration office??
    is there any nexus between taxi driver and immigration office

    Reply

  125. Shalu Kalra
    5 June, 2018 @ 10:37 am

    Hi Neha, I am also travelling to Bhutan on 25th June with two small kids. Wanted to know , how have you booked the hotels and which hotels. Also, Have you come to know about any new information regarding immigration. IS online booking confirmation by hotels good enough to get the permit.

    Reply

    • Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala
      5 June, 2018 @ 11:27 am

      Hi

      I just walked into to the hotels. Booking confirmation was not required when I went to Bhutan. Things might have changed now.

      Reply

  126. lali singh
    27 June, 2018 @ 10:01 pm

    Hello

    I want to can I get my indian passport stamped when exit and enter india….. and when entering and exiting bhutan from Phuentsholing…..

    Thanks

    Reply

  127. Suranjeeta
    10 October, 2018 @ 10:42 pm

    Hi,

    I wanted to ask if we can exit Bhutan on a weekend by road. I’m clear entry passes are not issued on weekends but can we leave the country?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.