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My Bhutan tour plan

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When I was in 11th standard I got an opportunity to visit Bhutan for the first time with a few of my relatives. That is also up to Phuntsholing because day tour at Phuntsholing does not require any passport or visa. From that time I nurture in my mind to travel Bhutan in the future. Bhutan is really like no other! It’s completely non-commercial and unspoiled. Visually, it’s very alluring. Government rules command that buildings, right down from palaces and monasteries to housing blocks have to be compelled to change to the standard type of architecture and also the overall impact is extremely striking. The individuals are trustworthy and friendly and ever able to break into a smile. The mountains, forests, and rivers are in virgin condition. The cities are clean and the traffic is well organized. In this post I will discuss my bhutan tour plan from kolkata in details. Bhutan offer amazing honeymoon packages for newlyweds as well as bhutan holidays tours for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, it will incur no extra cost to you but I will get a referral bonus to fund our travels.

PUNAKHA

Giant China on the one side, Giant India on the other. In the middle of these two countries there lies the country of peace, Bhutan. Bhutan is not an abode of millionaire people. Likewise there is no homeless man in Bhutan. Healthcare in Bhutan is not chargeable like Singapore, Thailand, and Europe – America. Healthcare in Bhutan is completely free. The main goal of Bhutan’s Health Ministry is ‘A Nation with the best in health’. The production, distribution and sale of any type of tobacco, drugs is strictly prohibited in Bhutan since 25 years. Bhutan is the world’s first smoke-free country. Bhutan’s target is to save the country’s main resource i.e. ‘Youth Community’. Before leaving the doctor’s chamber, hospitals, clinics, effective measures must be taken to prevent the disease. If you live in the disease empire like labs, clinics, hospitals, nothing will happen in life. The physically ill race cannot move forward.

The most fascinating aspect of Bhutan is their ecology system. When we cut down trees, fill canals, rivers, those only increase our profits. Their goal is – not individual profit but nation’s profit. If the ecology system is destroyed, the country will not be saved in the construction of high-rise buildings, nuclear projects, etc. According to Bhutan law, the country must have 60% forest land. But they own 71% of the forest land. Whereas we have only 21%. Still, fifty thousand new saplings were planted in Bhutan in just one hour in 2015. As a result, Bhutan has done a wonderful thing in the world. Bhutan is the only ‘carbon-negative’ country in the world. Which means that the carbon absorbed in nature is more than carbon is produced by nature. WOW! The whole of Bhutan is literally a pure air colony.

bhutan tour plan from kolkata

Not just pure air colony, no one in Bhutan can even think of poisoning their own cultivation. The whole of Bhutan is organic. The import and use of any type of chemical product is strictly prohibited there. Everything is quite naturally cultivated.

Another surprisingly beautiful aspect of Bhutan is that they are the only ones on earth – “The Country of Happiness”. The Gross National Happiness Committee was formed in the year of 2008 – to take care of people’s inner peace. Keep in mind that one should not suffer from emotional exhaustion, anxiety or depression. The more the population grows into turmoil, the more the anarchy grows.

They favor the “GNH” or Gross National Happiness more than “GDP” or Gross Domestic Product. In 2015 they did a census nationwide – where there was a question – how happy you are living in Bhutan. 91% of people say that they are happy, 9% of people told that they are deeply happy.

Bhutan does not want to be Japan, Canada, Malaysia, and Singapore. Bhutan wants to be Bhutan itself. Bhutan does not shout that it will give loans to all countries of the world in the coming years. They create the target that they can remain as debt free country. Bhutan works on high, less on talk . I SALUTE Bhutan.

Thimphu is its capital and largest city, whereas Phuntsholing is its financial capital. The highest mountain in Bhutan is that the Gangkhar Puensum, that is additionally a powerful candidate for the best-unclimbed mountain within the world. There is also diverse wildlife in Bhutan. My Bhutan tour plan post will answer all your queries I hope.

The head of state is that the King of Bhutan called the “Dragon King”. Bhutan is also prominent for pioneering the concept of gross national happiness. Buddhism was 1st introduced to Asian country within the seventh century AD. Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo a convert to Buddhism, who actually had extended the Tibetan Empire into Sikkim and Bhutan.

Much of early Bhutanese history is unclear because most of the records were destroyed when fire wasted the ancient capital, Punakha, in 1827. By the tenth century, Bhutan’s political development was heavily influenced by its religious history. Various sub sects of Buddhism emerged that were supported by the various Mongol warlords.

Until the early 17th century, Bhutan was unified by the Tibetan lama and military leader Ngawang Namgyal, who had fled religious oppression in Tibet. To defend the country against sporadic Tibetan raids, Namgyal built a network of secure dzongs or fortresses and spread the Tsa Yig, a code of law that helped to bring local lords under centralized control. Many such dzongs still exist and are active centers of faith and district administration. When Ngawang Namgyal died in 1651. After a period of the merger, Bhutan lapsed into internal battle. In the year 1711 Bhutan visited war against the Mughal Empire and its Subedars, who restored the kingdom of Koch Bihar in the south.

In the eighteenth century, the Bhutanese invaded and occupied the kingdom of Koch Bihar. In 1772, the Maharaja of Koch Bihar appealed to the British East India Company which assisted by overthrowing the Bhutanese and later in attacking Bhutan itself in 1774. An accord was signed within which Bhutan united to go back to its pre-1730 borders. However, the peace was weak, and border fights with the British were to continue for the next hundred years. The fights eventually led to the Duar War (1864–65), a confrontation for control of the Bengal Duars. After Bhutan lost the war, the Agreement of Sinchula was signed between British India and Bhutan. As part of the war compensations, the Duars were ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for a rent of Rs. 50,000. The pact overall hostilities between British India and Bhutan.

MAP OF BHUTAN

In 1907, a significant year for the country, Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously chosen as the hereditary king of the country after the new Union of India gained independence from the United Kingdom on fifteen August 1947, Bhutan became one of the first countries to recognize India’s independence. In 1953, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck recognized the country’s general assembly – a 130-member National Assembly – to push tons of democratic aptitude of governance. In 1965, he got wind of a Royal informative Council, and in 1968 he formed a Cabinet. In 1971, Bhutan was admitted to the UN, having command observer standing for 3 years. In July 1972, Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascended to the throne at the age of sixteen when the death of his father, Dorji Wangchuck.

Before starting, I must admit recently one of my friends sent one small video clip regarding Bhutan which further enhance my intention to visit the “LAND OF THUNDER DRAGON”.

VC: RELAX.LIFE

My Bhutan tour plan

The most common questions related to Bhutan trip are

1. Why I should visit Bhutan?

2. Why I planned my Bhutan trip in October?

3. How I reached Bhutan?

4. Things to carry for my Bhutan tour?

5. How I arranged my entry permit in Bhutan?

 6. My Bhutan tour itinerary.

 7. How I booked my hotels and cab in Bhutan?

One by one I would discus all the points mentioned above and share my experience. But

Disclaimer: All of my tips and tricks are based on my personal traveling experience in the region.

1. Why I should visit Bhutan?

bhutan holidays
NORBU-MY BHUTANESE FRIEND

When I first started researching concerning Bhutan and told my friends that I was interested to travel Bhutan, everybody was questioning and asked me “Why Bhutan”!!! I was not so sure what to answer them other than the statistical report and some research I have done online about Bhutan which I am mentioning below

12 REASONS WHY I HAVE VISITED THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN

2. Why I planned my Bhutan trip in October?

bhutan holidays

First of all, I must admit anytime is the best time to visit Bhutan. Bhutan is one of the holy countries to have seasonal variations. You can find different months of summer, winter, spring, and monsoon, making the climate in Bhutan magical and a perfect year-round destination. Perfect for travel in any season, Bhutan offers something exceptional to visitors depending on the time of their arrival. Be it in its festivals, clear skies, and wonders to the Himalayan peaks, flourishing Himalayan flora and fauna, or simply beautiful snowfall, Bhutan ensures you have a great time amongst nature and take back home a memory you will preserve for your lifetime. Click the link given below

9 REASONS WHY I TRAVELED BHUTAN IN OCTOBER

3. How I reached Bhutan?

bhutan tour plan from kolkata

Before 1960 it absolutely was terribly troublesome to enter the Kingdom of Bhutan. The dense jungles inside the South and high frozen passes inside the North created the entry terribly difficult. However, currently, it’s far more accessible through several international and multiple domestic airports because of planned economic development. Read here about How to Reach Bhutan easily.

HOW TO REACH BHUTAN

How I reached Bhutan from Kolkata

If you are a budget traveler (like me) and time is not a constraint then you can go via Phuntsholing, it is the border for Bhutan. If time is constraint then you’ll be able to take flight from Kolkata, Delhi or Mumbai. Since Kolkata is my home city I took a night in train and next day morning (around 12 noon) reached Hasimara. I purchased train ticket online through

https://www.irctc.co.in/nget/train-search

in Kanchankanya express which left Sealdah station around 8 pm. Around 9.30 pm we crossed Kamarkundu station and got ready to sleep. I got up at 7 am due to the chaos of co-passengers as they are getting ready to get down at New Jalpaiguri (NJP). We reached Njp around 8 am. Then we reached New Mal Jn around 10 am. Finally, we reached Hasimara around 12 noon.

This NJP to New Alipurduar route is one of the enchanting train routes with a wide variety of Flora and Fauna. It’s a journey of about 4 hours where the train crosses the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Chapramari Forest and BUXA Tiger Reserve. A herd of Elephants, Deer, Monkeys, a vivid variety of birds and butterflies can be seen easily from the window as you have a sip of the special Lemon Tea. If you are too lucky you may encounter a leopard or tiger too. The occasional train speeds up and then screams to a halt with a lazy hiss into the beautiful jungle. You might not want to blink or switch off your camera while you are on this journey.

If you want to travel by train, you have to travel to Kolkata or NJP (New Jalpaiguri) first as there is no direct train from any major metros to Bhutan. The rail distance from Kolkata to NJP is near about 600 Km and Kolkata to Hasimara is near about 700 Kms. After reaching Hasimara we took one cab and reached to Jaigaon/ Phuntsholing Border. This is the easiest and most convenient way of reaching the Bhutan border from Kolkata and your route would be as Kolkata – Train to Hasimara – cab/Auto Rickshaw to Jaigaon/ Phuntsholing Border- Bus/taxi to Thimphu. At Hasimara you’ll get many choices like an auto rickshaw, shared jeep or taxi to get to the border. Auto-Rickshaw costs around Rs. 300, a shared jeep costs around Rs. 100 per person and lastly, a private cab costs around Rs. 800.

As you know before entering Bhutan, Indians are required to receive an entry permit at the Indian immigration office. Therefore, when we disembarked at the main stop in Jaigaon, we went directly to the Bhutan immigration office. It is a brief walk from there to Bhutan gate.

Distance between

Siliguri and Phuntsholing– 157 kilometers

Phuntsholing to Thimphu-165 kilometers

Phuntsholing to Paro– 160 kilometers

Kolkata the Phuntsholing– 710 kilometers

Also read

HOW TO REACH BHUTAN

4. Things to carry for my Bhutan tour?

bhutan tour plan
YAK HERDER’S CAMP,PUNAKHA

Hill stations are confined with joyful experience in every path it leads, the experience which bounces in our memories forever and stores a reminder note “should visit again”, which ticks now and then. Visiting a hill station refreshes our mind and soul, which brings serenity to our mind for which our soul always craves for. The pleasant weather, fresh air, tasty water, shopping, unbelievable nature of the Indian hill stations always proves the saying “incredible India”. The pre-preparation to travel a hill station must be planned thoughtfully. Here are a few travel packing tips in Indian hill stations. Click below link to know more

TIPS TO CARRY THINGS WHEN YOU GO TO THE INDIAN HILL STATION

5. How I arranged my entry permit in Bhutan?

Presently, for citizens of India, Bangladesh & Maldives, there’s no need for any Visa to visit Bhutan, but various Permits are required to visit various regions of Kingdom of Bhutan. The current trend of visiting Bhutan in increasing exponentially. I have noticed that they are not encouraging tourism as a whole when I stood in the queue at Phuntsholing immigration office. I noticed that there are lots of confusions and various queries coming up with Bhutan’s Permit System. The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan is strict about the entry permits. So please make sure your documentation is correct and in order before approaching the Immigration Office. During peak season or long weekend, keep enough time in hand, as after the introduction of bio-metrics the process takes much longer than before. The process might take a full day or two days also. I have a very bitter experience during Bengali festive month (October) on my last trip to Bhutan. Many people including me couldn’t procure permits because we had to get out of queue due to various documentation issues and there was a huge rush. People breaking queue and making a new one. I have also seen there were shortages of security persons in comparison with the crowd. One night we have to spend in Jaigaon and then next day we arranged our permits. I had my hotel booked at Paro which booking amount I was not refunded. Due to peak season, I have to book rooms at Jaigaon paying excess amount. So if you are visiting during such period, make sure to go and stand in the queue as early as possible. Also, I noticed one issue, is that the queue outside Main Gate is not actually followed. Once the gate opens in the morning, people just rush towards the counter. And the queue that forms there at the counter is what is actually followed. So be prepared for the same and get there early and be the first one to be in front of the gate. So whatever I am going to discuss please follow it properly. For those who are going first time to Bhutan must be well informed regarding, the variety of permits needed to visit different geographical areas and the alteration of procedures. This article should make things easier for prospective visitors to the Land of Thunder Dragon. To know more follow mentioned link-

BHUTAN VISA FOR INDIANS TOURISTS

BHUTAN VISA FOR FOREIGNERS

6. My Bhutan tour itinerary.

bhutan tour plan
BHUTAN

1st day – Pick up from Hasimara transfer to Jaigaon & Lunch, then arrange entry permit and transfer to Paro. Enroute Phuntsholing sightseeing. After processing permit we will drive to Kharbandi Gumpha, Zangto Pelri Lhakhang & Crocodile project. Overnight stay at Paro.

2nd dayParo local sightseeing. In the morning we visit Drugyal Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, view of Mt. Chomolhari, Kichu Lhakhang, International Airport, Taktsang or Tigers and MUSEUM. Night stay at Paro.

3rd day –Morning after breakfast going to Thimpu. Check in hotel and night stay at Thimpu.

4th day-Morning after breakfast proceeds to Thimpu immigration office for Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Dochula and Punakha. Local sightseeing tour of Thimphu including visit  BBS Tower, Buddha dorama, SAARC Building (From Out Side View), Library, Handicraft Emporium, Memorial Chorten, Buddha Point, UDD and Bhutan post office HQ. Overnight stay in Thimphu.       

5th dayThimphu to Punakha (via Dochula Pass). Night stay at Punakha.

6th day– Morning after breakfast visit Punakha Dzong, Khanum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, Wangdue Dzong, and Hanging bridge. Overnight stay at a hotel in Punakha.

 7th day – Punakha to Jaigaon and night stay at Jaigaon.

8th day – Jaigaon to New Alipurduar Station drop.

7. How I booked my hotels and cab in Bhutan?

Generally, I prefer to arrange any tour of my own. I usually do extensive research online and fix everything. Here in case of Bhutan, I was facing many difficulties. I am noting those BELOW-

1.      Booking of hotels from India is really difficult for Bhutan.

2.      Hotel room prices are higher than whatever mentioned in the website.

3.      If I book a room online by visiting hotels own website the payment procedure is also troublesome.

4.      Vehicles from Bhutan also claiming exorbitant rental.

To overcome all these issues I started searching travel agents from Jaigaon. After extensive online research and studying many reviews I found 2 Travel agents who are reliable, responsible and having a good connection with all those places and people where I want to visit.

After my inquiry, I received a quotation from

1.      B K Prasad

B.K.Prasad [0097517601325]

M/no.09593837520 (BK)/ 09434350215 (Home)

P/no office no. 09233870281 / 08945006629

E-mail: bktourandtravels@gmail.com

Website: http://bktourandtravels.webs.com/

http://bhutanpackagebktourandtravels.webs.com/

Accommodation in 2 dbl bedrooms {deluxe Category}

2 Nights at Paro in Hotel– Pelri Cottage / Galinkha @ Rs 2700 x 2 x 2 = 10,800/-

2Nights at Thimphu in Hotel–Taksang / Bhutan Centinnal @ Rs 2700 x 2 x 2 = 10,800/-

2 Nights at Punakha in Hotel– Kingaling / Kinten @ Rs 2700 x 2 x 2 = 10,800/-

1 Nights at Jaigaon/Phuntsholing in hotel Sinchula  @ Rs. 2700x1x2=5400/-

Total Accommodation Charges @ Rs 37,800/-

Transportation in Wagon R {Phuntsholing to Phuntsholing} @ Rs 3000 x 7 = 21,000/-

Hasimara Pickup @ Rs 500/-

Hasimara Drop @ Rs 500/-

Total Transportation Charges @ Rs 22,000/-

Total Transportation & Accommodation Charges @ Rs 59,800/- without food.

2.      Quotation received from Sujit Goswami

Maruti Tours and Travels

State Bank Building

N.S.Road

Jaigaon

Jalpaiguri-736182

India mobile

9609791522,

9775039279,

Bhutan mobile

+975-17637969

+975-77221293

Accommodation

Hotel in Thimphu – Hotel Chopel Norkye @ 1800/ per dbl room X 2 double rooms X 2 nights  Rs. 7200/

Hotel in Punakha – Kingaling @ 2000/ per dbl room X 2 double rooms X 2 nights …… ……..Rs.  8000/

Hotel in Paro – Paro Hotel  @ 2000/ per dbl room X 2 double rooms X 2 nights ………………..Rs. 8000/

Hotel in Jaigaon-Satyam or Kasturi @ 1400/ X 2 double room X 1 night ………………………….Rs. 2800/

                     ………………………………………………………………

                                 Total Accommodation Cost ….Rs. 26,000/

TransportationWagonr (4 Seater ) @ 2700/ X 7 days. Rs. 18,900/

Hasimara pickup and drop……1000

                       ………………………………………………………

                     Total Transportation Cost Rs. 19,900/

Package Cost: (26,000/ + 19,900) = 45,900/ without fooding

After a long discussion with both them, I finally fixed up with Mr. Sujit Goswami(Maruti Tours and Travels).

bhutan tour plan

Also read, CHULA RESTAURANT THIMPHU

Updated on: 04.01.21

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