Are you yearning for an unforgettable adventure in Bhutan without straining your wallet? Look no further! In this blog, we’ll guide you through the essential aspects of planning a budget trip from India to Bhutan. From obtaining permits and finding affordable accommodations to relishing local cuisine and navigating transportation options, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to embark on a mesmerising journey through Phuntsholing, Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha while keeping your budget intact.
To kickstart your Bhutan adventure, it’s crucial to acquire the necessary permits. As an Indian traveller, you don’t need a visa, but an Entry Permit is mandatory. You can obtain it from the Royal Bhutanese Embassy or consulate in India or at the immigration office in Phuentsholing, the border town.
The immigration office in Phuentsholing is the easiest and most convenient option. Just gather the required documents, such as a valid passport, passport-sized photos, proof of accommodation, and pay the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of INR 1,200 per person per night to get the permit. While children aged between 6 and 12 years have to pay 50% of SDF, it is waived off for children aged 5 years and below.
Here is a detailed guide on how to get a Bhutan entry permit for Indians.
Getting to Bhutan:
By Road: If you want to enter Bhutan by road, you can take a flight to Bagdogra airport or travel by train to Hasimara railway station and then book a cab outside the airport or station to reach Phuentsholing.
By Air: You can fly from Kolkata, Delhi, Gaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati & Mumbai to the Paro International Airport in Bhutan.
Places to visit in Bhutan:
Phuntsholing, the border town, offers a vibrant blend of Indian and Bhutanese cultures. Explore the bustling markets, visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, and take a leisurely walk along the Amo Chhu riverfront. Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and prepare for the journey ahead.
Paro, a picturesque valley, is home to iconic landmarks and natural wonders. Visit the Paro Dzong, hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Monastery), and explore the National Museum. Take in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Paro Valley while appreciating its rich cultural heritage.
Thimphu, the capital city, seamlessly blends tradition and modernity. Visit the Tashichho Dzong, experience the vibrant local markets, and stroll along Norzin Lam. Explore the Buddha Dordenma, the national library, and absorb the unique charm of Bhutan’s capital.
Punakha, known for its majestic dzongs and scenic beauty, is a must-visit destination. Visit the Punakha Dzong and Punakha Suspension Bridge, take a serene hike to the Chimi Lhakhang, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of this beautiful valley.
Read this blog to get a detailed Bhutan 7 Days Itinerary.
Bhutan offers a range of affordable accommodation options, including budget hotels, and homestays. These provide comfortable lodging while giving you a chance to experience Bhutanese hospitality and immerse yourself in the local culture. Average one-night stay costs around 1500 rupees.
Indulging in Bhutanese cuisine is a must! Look for local eateries, roadside stalls, and small restaurants to savour the flavour without straining your budget. Try emma date (spicy cheese stew), red rice and momos (dumplings). The average per-meal cost is 300 rupees.
Getting around Bhutan affordably is easy. Local buses and shared taxis are your best options. Buses are cost-effective but operate on fixed schedules. Shared taxis provide convenient and economical transportation, allowing you to split the fare with fellow travellers.
Estimated shared cab costs are as follows:
- Bagdogra to Phuentsholing: Around INR 800 to INR 1,000 per person
- Phuentsholing to Paro: Around INR 1,200 to INR 1,500 per person
- Paro to Thimphu: Around INR 500 to INR 700 per person
- Thimphu to Punakha: Around INR 800 to INR 1,000 per person
Pro trip: You can opt for a group trip with a guide in which they will cover all of your costs, including permits, accommodation, food, and transport. The average cost of a group trip is 10,000 rupees per person.
Budget Trip to Bhutan from India: Wrap-up
A budget trip to Bhutan from India is within your reach. By obtaining permits, planning transportation, finding affordable accommodations, and relishing local cuisine, you can explore the wonders of Phuntsholing, Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha without straining your wallet. Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s cultural richness, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality while creating memories to last a lifetime. So, get ready to embark on a budget-friendly journey to the mesmerising Land of the Thunder Dragon!