Phuentsholing, the second largest town in Bhutan, is one of the montane paradises. Exploring Bhutan is incomplete without visiting this “Land of Thunder dragons.”
It is nicknamed the “Abode of Himalayan Kingdoms.” The town appears as if some infinite power has caused time to freeze and lit up the ‘Lamp of Serenity.’ This destination is also a coalescing point of Indian, Bhutanese, and Nepalese cultures.
Phuentsholing is also a famous tourist attraction for Indians visiting the Dooars region of West Bengal. The place is just a few kilometers from New Jalpaiguri. You do not need a passport or visa to visit this place. For this reason, many Indians add this place to their travel itinerary for a short trip to a different nation.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Phuentsholing (Bhutan),
- How to travel from India
- Places to visit
- Best time to visit
Let’s see each of these points in detail.
How to travel to Phuentsholing from India
You can travel from India to Phuentsholing (Bhutan) without a Visa. The town shares its border with Jaigaon in West Bengal. A permit is also not required to explore Phuentsholing for a few hours.
The information is for tourists only who want to explore for a few hours.
The local cabs will drop you off at the border near Bhutan Gate. If you have taken your vehicle, you can also park it at the side of the road.
Once you reach Jaigaon, you have to head towards the Pedestrian Terminal. The BSF personnel or the locals will guide you to it. At the entrance, show your ID and proceed inside. After that, you will pass through a security check and get inside Bhutan. There you will have to register yourself using your Voter ID card. If you have a child with you, carry the original birth certificate.
After that, stand in line. Your picture will be taken, and the registration number will be verified. Once done, you can enter Bhutan and explore.
The documents required to enter Phuentsholing (Bhutan) as a tourist from India are,
- Voter ID Card
- Original Birth Certificate (in case of a child)
|Entry Fee||Rs. 10 per person|
|Exit Fee||Rs. 10 per person|
Places to visit in Phuentsholing
Phuentsholing is filled with places you can visit during your short trip here.
1. Bhutan Gate
Sited at the Indo- Bhutan border, the gate is the entry point into the kingdom of Bhutan. It shows off the magnificent traditional architecture of Bhutan. The gate was established in 1865 by signing the treaty of Sinchula.
All classical elements and wooden carvings contribute to the Bhutan Gate. It holds a lot of historical significance and is the gateway on the international borders to a new world. Driving through the gate is a delightful experience. Passing the gate, you will find all the Bhutanese handicrafts and their local food items.
2. Kharbandi Monastery
Kharbandi Monastery also goes by the name ‘Rinchendring Gompa’ and is elevated 400 meters in a splendid valley. The monastery is amongst the oldest in Bhutan and is wrapped in mesmerizing conifers. This monastery is endowed with lovely Bhutanese architecture and art.
This holy shrine was built in 1967 by the late Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Choedron. The garden there is filled with vibrantly colored prayer flags. All of them give a fascinating look to the place.
The outlook of the adorning Phuentsholing valley and Jaigaon can be seen from the monastery. Large figurines of Buddhist deities can be seen there as well.
You can visit the place any time, but the late afternoon is one of the perfect times as the sun goes down, scattering its reddish-orange rays. The golden hour looks astounding from there.
3. Phuentsholing Market
The Phuentsholing Market is the ideal spot for shoppers. It brims with a variety of stuff waiting to be looked at and bought.
Bhutanese handicrafts, Brass and bronze idols, and numerous other home decors can be found here. Various dresses, bags, and low-cost products are found in the stalls. Different kinds of Bhutanese food items are sold to be enjoyed while shopping.
Along with all these, you will have a memorable experience amidst the locals and seeing them, their livelihood, lifestyle, and much more.
You can also find many shops near the Pedestrian Terminal at the Indo-Bhutan border.
4. Zangto Pelri Lhakhang
Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, also called the ‘Paradise of Guru Rinpoche,’ holds great religious importance in Bhutan. It is situated in the center of Phuentsholing town. Dasho Aku Tongmi structured it in 1900. Since then, its offering relief and peace.
The spiritual site is three tired with excellent interiors and exteriors. The garden in the temple complex is a spot to relax and feel serenity. The ceilings and walls are embellished with murals and frescos, and you will witness mesmerizing figures of Buddhist deities.
A 4-meter-tall figurine of Guru Rinpoche is standing gloriously along with his eight manifestations on the ground floor. There are so many other statues in all the other tires that are delightful to look at.
The spiritual vibes at this site engross all the visitors and devotees visiting and worshiping the temple. Make sure to spend some time in the well-maintained garden with a charming fountain and bask in the beauty of the place. Offer butter lamps, do the kora, and rotate the prayer wheels. Try out the local foods sold at the joints outside the temple complex.
5. Phuentsholing Viewpoint
This is another famous site to drop by while you are at Phuentsholing. It is also known as Peeple Drangra and is as elevated as the Kharbandi monastery.
The winding hills, lush landscape, and the flowing Torsa river make the place much more vibrant. It is magical to stop and look at the scenes in front of you from this point.
If you visit on a clear day, the blossoming town of Phuentsholing, along with the plains of West Bengal, can be witnessed from this altitude.
The picturesque spot is a must-visit, or you will miss a lot of beauty and tranquillity.
Best time to visit Phuentsholing
Phuentsholing is submerged in the paradisical ambiance of fog and clouds. The town portrays different beauty in different seasons. The best time to visit Phuentsholing is from December to March when you can see the towering Himalayas and the majestic nature in its more lively form.
The weather remains comforting to stroll around the almost abandoned streets and village lanes and look for the monasteries and ruins of some oldest places.
In many parts of the year, drizzles here feel enjoyable.
These are some things you must know about Phuentsholing while planning a trip from India.
The beautiful destination is also an ideal honeymoon destination. If you are willing to travel to places where you can spend some time in solace, this neighboring hamlet of India is the perfect one for you.
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