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How To Reach Phuntsholing
A bustling town at the border between India and Bhutan, Phuntsholing opens its ornate gateway to the beautiful Kingdom of the Himalayas. As you cross the Phuntsholing gateway by road ,you feel drawn into the magical Kingdom of the Druk Yul or Land of the Thunder Dragons. At an elevation of 293 m, Phuntsholing lies at the Southern end of Bhutan, close to the Indian States of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim. The Kingdom of Bhutan and India share an International boundary line that runs 699 km long. Bhutan's boundary with China is closed and the kingdom's only access by road is through these boundaries with India.
A busy thoroughfare between two neighbouring countries, Phuntsholing has more concrete buildings and modest monasteries that combine the modern with antiquity, when compared to the other towns of Bhutan. You get to meet people of different cultural groups- Bhutanese, Indians and Nepalese in Phuntsholing, which is verily called the industrial and financial centre of Bhutan. Here's how you can reach Phuntsholing.
Bhutan has an International Airport at Paro, which serves Royal Bhutan and Druk Air flights from New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Dhaka and Kathmandu. You have the option of flying to Paro International Airport from any of these major cities and taking a taxi to Phuntsholing from the airport. But the economical choice would be to fly to Bagdogra in West Bengal and taking a taxi from the airport to Phuntsholing. The distance from Bagdogra to Phuntsholing is 164 km and you can cover this distance in about 4 hours.
You can book tickets on Royal Bhutan buses that run from Kolkata to Phuntsholing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The bus departs from Kolkata’s Esplanade Bus Terminus and reaches Bhutan Phuntsholing Post Office in about 22 hours and 30 min. Return trips from Phuntsholing to Kolkata are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Royal Bhutan Government buses also run from Siliguri in West Bengal to Phuntsholing, departing from Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus at Siliguri. The trip takes 5-6 hours to reach Phuntsholing, which is about 157 km away.
Travel from Kolkata to Siliguri or up to Falakata by train. From either of these stations, you can hire a taxi to Phuntsholing. Falakata is 52 km away and takes about 2 hours while Siliguri at 155 km away, takes about 4 hours to reach Phuntsholing. Alternately, if you are travelling from Guwahati, alight at New Alipurduar, which is about 60 km from the border. You can get a taxi or bus to Phuntsholing.
The most cost effective and probably the easiest way to reach Phuntsholing would be to travel to Hasimara from Kolkata and taking a cab to Phuntsholing, which is about 17 km from Hasimara.