Indian Travellers

Set amid the beautiful scenery of the Himalayas, the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan is a unique destination which retains a distinct character largely untouched by the modern world. A deeply Buddhist nation, the country maintains a deliberate separation, forging a divergent path from global homogenisation, best exemplified by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, where the country measures the wellbeing of its citizens rather than their economic wealth. Visiting Bhutan feels like a privilege, an opportunity to gain a rare insight into a lifestyle and culture that is very different from anything that you will experience elsewhere.

Important tips for you

Ensuring your journey to the kingdom is as smooth as possible.

Entry Permit and Route Permit

  • Indian nationals intending to visit Bhutan do not require visa however they need to obtain an Entry Permit.
  • To obtain this entry permit, they need to produce either (a) Passport, having validity of minimum 6 months OR (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by Election Commission of India. The accompanying children can also travel with original birth certificate (reflecting name of the child) along with School ID card and a letter from School Principal.
  • The Entry permit is issued by Department of Immigration, Royal Government of Bhutan on arrival at Paro airport OR if entering Bhutan by surface via Phuentsholing then it is issued at this border town.
  • For Indian visitors, travelling with passport and booked tour with us, we can obtain their E- Permit in advance which is valid for all destinations. We require colored passport copy at least 15 days prior to date of arrival in Bhutan, in order to obtain this E-Permit.
  • For travelers entering Bhutan by surface, they need to complete biometric formalities at Phuentsholing town however biometric is not needed for those arriving by flight.
  • The Entry permit issued on arrival is valid for Thimphu, Paro & Phuentsholing only. Tourists desirous of going beyond Thimphu and Paro need to acquire a ‘Route Permit’ from the Royal Govt. of Bhutan Immigration Office at Thimphu on any working days (Monday to Friday). Our offices located in Phuentsholing and Thimphu assist in obtaining Entry permit and Route Permit.
  • The Phuentsholing border gate normally remains open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and no entry permit required for entering Phuentsholing.
  • Phuentsholing Immigration office remains closed on Sat, Sun & Govt. holidays and no permit issued on these days, so it is highly recommended to check arrival date, incase arriving by surface. Whereas for air travelers, entry permit can be obtained on all days through airport Immigration office.
  • PIO, OCI & NRIs require visa for travelling to Bhutan and they need to book tour through package tariff prescribed by Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB).
  • Valid passport is mandatory for Indian visitors, travelling between Nepal & Bhutan or from any other non-Indian sectors.


Entry into Bhutan can be made either by land or by air. Druk Air, the National Air Carrier of the Kingdom, operates regular fights to / from Paro to Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Bangkok and Singapore. While the other private local air carrier, Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air) operates regular flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu & Bangkok. Both these airlines also operate seasonal flights from Mumbai as well. Druk Air as well as Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air) use Airbus A 319 aircraft on these sectors. By surface, entry into Bhutan is conveniently possible through southern border town of Phuentsholing. This frontier town is about 4.1/2 hours’ drive from nearest Indian airport, Bagdogra. Phuentsholing is also the convenient entry or exit point if you wish to combine Bhutan trip with Darjeeling, Gangtok & Kalimpong.


Geographically, Bhutan is a land of dramatic contrasts. From the near tropical southern border with India, steep slopes climb to snow-capped heights of over 24,750 feet / 7,500m at the northern border with Tibet. Consequently, temperatures vary greatly between day and night and at different altitudes, so layered clothing for changed conditions, is recommended. From May to Aug, the weather is warm at night (60-64F/ 17-18C) and in the day (72-78F/22-26C). In winter, the sky is bright, and it is sunny but cold, especially when the sun hides behind the mountains in the morning and evenings. At night, the temperature falls below zero in winter months. Spring and Autumn are very pleasant with comfortable day’s temperature and cool nights. Basically, Bhutan is year-round destination with pleasant summer, relatively cold winter but with blue sky & sunny days and refreshing monsoon. The monsoon usually arrives by end of June and lasts till mid-September during which light to heavy rain expected mainly in the late afternoons and evenings but without much impact on usual cultural tour.


The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum (Nu.) and is at par with Indian Rupee. Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan except currency notes of Rs 2,000 denominations.  Credit Cards have limited acceptability and are more prevalent at deluxe & luxury hotels and major shopping establishments so for regular day to day expense, it is advisable to carry cash. ATMs are also located in major tourist towns.

Food and Drink

Indian cuisine is available at all tourist hotels & restaurants and vegetarians have good options as well. Apart from Indian, the other available options are Bhutanese, Chinese, Continental and also there are few restaurants serving Thai & Korean cuisine. Especially, in Thimphu & Paro, there are wide range of hotels & restaurants serving variety of cuisine.

Traditional Bhutanese food always features spicy red and green chillies, either dried or fresh.  The national dish Ema Datsi, a dish of ema (Chilli) cooked in datsi (cheese) is favourite among Bhutanese and a growing number of tourists as well. Most of the tourist hotels, restaurants provide meals in buffet style.

Also, all tourist hotels, restaurants have good selection of international and Bhutanese alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages.


The official language of Bhutan is ‘Dzongkha’ and a large number of dialects are spoken.  English has been the language of educational instruction since 1964 and is widely spoken. Also, locals at popular tourist destinations understand and speak reasonably good Hindi.

Tour Payment

All tours to Bhutan are on pre-payment basis and while processing visas full tour payment needs to be deposited with Tourism Council of Bhutan. On confirmation of tour, we shall be forwarding invoice along with bank details and the tour payment is to be remitted in bank details mentioned in invoice. Also, the bank remittance copy shall be emailed to us for necessary follow up with Bhutan bank locally.

Dress code and Etiquette 

Bhutanese by and large are conservative in their approach. Please avoid body hugging, sleeveless Tops or short skirts while walking around public areas. Shorts and Tank Tops are strictly not recommended inside the temples, monasteries and Dzongs. Hats need to be taken off while entering religious site.

Always walk in a clockwise direction while visiting religious places or objects like temples, monasteries, Stupas (Chorten), prayer flags etc. Please do not point a finger at a sacred object or place as it is considered being disrespectful.


Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion and the majority of Bhutanese people follow Drukpa school of the Kagyupa sect. While Hinduism is practiced mostly in southern part of the country. The influence of religion is highly visible in people’s everyday life and there is profound worship of the Buddha, Guru Padsambhava and other tantric deities. Buddhism has shaped the nation’s history and still play a vital role in daily life of its people. Bhutanese language & literature, arts & crafts, drama, music, ceremonies & events, architecture and basic social and cultural values draw their inspiration from Buddhist values.


Bhutan is extremely safe destination with perhaps lowest crime rate in the world. In general, you will find Bhutanese people very warm, hospitable, helpful and friendly.


Bhutan’s landscape, buildings and people are some of the most photogenic in the world. While photographic local people, it is always better to take permission first. There are certain places such as monasteries and temples, where photography is prohibited however there is no restriction on photographing Dzongs and Goemba from outside. If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, please check with your local guide. You should refrain from taking pictures of military installations.


Bhutan has highly efficient telecommunication system. All accommodation units have facilities of international dialling and Wi-Fi services. Tourist SIM cards are easily available on arrival and their charges are quite reasonable.


Shops are normally open between 0900-2000 Monday to Sunday. Markets are held regularly and are a rich source of local clothing and jewellery. Bhutan is also famous of its exquisite postage stamps, hand woven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper, finely crafted metal & Thangkha painting and variety of organic products.


Bhutan is non-smoking country and smoking is prohibited at public places. However, tourists are allowed to bring any of the following tobacco products for their personal consumptions & subject to payment of 100% custom duty and 100% sales tax; 200 sticks of cigarettes, 400 sticks of bidis,50 pieces of cigar or 250 grams of other tobacco or tobacco products. Any excess quantity is subject to confiscation.  Further, tourists are permitted to smoke at designated smoking areas only.


Bhutan uses clean & green energy generated by hydropower. The voltage supply in the country is 220 / 240 volts AC, 50 Hz.  Standard Indian round pin sockets are normally used at all places. If you do bring electrical appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with set of adapter plugs.


Laundry service is available in most of the hotels. However, it is advisable to check the hotels’ individual laundry return policy before choosing to have laundry done at a hotel.


Tipping at hotels and for guide and driver is appreciated and although it is at guests’ discretion but the bottom line for determining is the contribution made by individuals to make your trip a memorable one.

Custom and Immigration

The following articles are exempted from duty:

a) Personal affects and articles for day to day use by the visitor

b) 1 litre of alcohol (spirits or wine)

c) 200 cigarettes, on payment of import duty of 200% (on MRP printed on pack)

d) Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use

e) Photography equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use

Import and Export of following goods are strictly prohibited:

  • Arms, ammunitions and explosives
  • All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs

Import & export of any antique is strictly prohibited. For all locally procured souvenirs, travellers need to obtain a certificate from Airport office stating these as non-antiques. Please take help of your accompanying guide to obtain this certificate which can be asked by airport authorities at the time of departure.

Health and Vaccination

No vaccination is currently required for entry into Bhutan. Further, it is suggested to assemble a traveller’s medical kit appropriate to your travel destination, length of trip and general health. On a tour in Bhutan, there are drives on winding roads so medication for motion sickness is recommended. One should also pack an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling.

Senior travellers who plan to visit Bhutan should also consult their physician about high-altitude travel. Most people do not suffer from altitude sickness in Bhutan but elderly travellers or those with high blood pressure or heart conditions need to exercise caution especially at high altitudes.

You’re also suggested to avoid tap water and stick to Mineral water, easily available everywhere.

Travel Insurance

Adequate travel insurance is important for your personal safety and we recommend you get your insurance cover before traveling to Bhutan.


Kuensel, Bhutan Observer and The Bhutan Times are some of the popular local newspapers published in English. Kuensel is also published in local language Dzongkha and Nepali. These Newspaper are also available online: ,,


Mode of transport within Bhutan is by road though Druk Air also operates domestic flight to Bumthang & Trashigang sector using ATR. The motorable roads are well maintained and connect most of the places.

We use Hyundai Tucson/ Santa Fe / Toyota Rush / Kia Sorento for a team of 1 – 2 guests. A Toyota Hiace / Hyundai H1 minivan for a team of 3 – 6 guests and a deluxe Toyota coaster for a group of 7 – 18 guests. All these vehicles are periodically checked and well maintained.

Radio and Television

Bhutan Broadcasting Service has programs in Dzongkha, English and Nepali. Television started in year 2000 and various channels are now available such as BBC, CNN, Discovery, Star TV, ESPN and various other Indian channels.