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How To Reach Punakha

Planning A Trip To Punakha? Here are some guidelines on how to reach Punakha

Punakha is one of the most significant districts of Bhutan. It had been the capital city of the Himalayan Kingdom until 1955, prior to the capital being shifted to Thimphu. Punakha, along with Jakar and Paro, form the Golden Triangle of tourism in Bhutan.


Situated in the western part of Bhutan, at about 1,200 m above sea level, the Punakha valley lies at the confluence of two major rivers Pho Chuu and Mo Chuu. The monasteries in Punakha along with the fertile green undulating slopes where Bhutan’s rice is grown make the beautiful valley a major tourist centre. If you are interested in visiting this ancient city, we will tell you how to reach Punakha in the article below.

By Air

By Air:  How To Reach Punakha
Photograph by happybhutantours.com

Bhutan’s only International Airport is at Paro. Royal Bhutan Airlines and DrukAir fly between Paro International Airport and New Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Guwahati and Bagdogra. The best and fastest way to reach Punakha is to take a flight to Paro International Airport and hire a shared taxi or bus to Punakha Valley. Punakha is 123.8 km away from the Paro International Airport. You can stop at Thimphu to get the permit for Punakha.

By Train

By Train:  How To Reach Punakha
Photograph by tibettravel.org

You can take a train from Kolkata to Hasimara, which is 17 km away from the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing Border between India and Bhutan. There are regular buses and shared taxis that can take you from Phuentsaholing to Punakha. Travel time from Phuentsholing to Punakha with a stopover at Thimphu is about 8 hours.

By Road

By Road:  How To Reach Punakha
Photograph by khujbo.com

You can drive to Hasimara in West Bengal and continue to the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing Border. Get documents checked at the Border and continue towards Thimphu to get a special permit for Punakha. The distance between Hasimara and Thimphu is about 183 km. From Thimphu, drive on towards Punakha, which is only 85 km away.

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