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Phuntsholing Tourism And Travel Guide
15° C / 59° F
March to May
1 to 2 Days
Bagdogra (163.3 kms)
Hasimara (19.5 kms)
Phuntsholing, also spelt as Phuentsholing, is a town that lies on the Southern border of Bhutan, adjoining West Bengal on the Indian side. Phuntsholing is the major town and administrative headquarters of the Chukha district of Bhutan. As the gateway to Bhutan, the town is a conglomeration of many ethnicities including Indians, Nepalese and the native Bhutanese. It is also a trading centre, more urbanised than the rest of Bhutan, as all goods to be traded to and from India are passed through Phuntsholing.
Tourists from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives are to show a proof of identity that could be a voter ID or a passport at the Immigrations Office at Phuntsholing, which facilitates their travel to Paro or Thimphu. Foreigners are expected to show their visa as proof of identity. There are a few places of tourist interest that you must see if you are planning a trip to Phuntsholing. If you are charmed by Phuntsholing, our tourism and travel guide will tell you how to reach the border town, about the ideal season for a visit, the tourist places you can see and the things you can do.
How to Reach
Bhutan’s International Airport is at Paro. But the nearest airport to Phuntsholing would be the Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. The airport is 163 km away from Phuntsholing and you can take a cab to Phuntsholing from the airport.
Royal Bhutan Government buses run from Kolkata’s Esplanade Bus Terminus on alternate days and from Siliguri’s Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in West Bengal to Phuntsholing. Travel from Kolkata takes about 22 hours and about 6 hours from Siliguri.
The easiest way to reach Phuntsholing would be the train from Kolkata to Hasimara. Hasimara is just about 17 km from the Jaigaon-Phuntsholing border. You can get a taxi or a regular bus to cover the rest of the distance.
Weather and the Best time to Visit
The season is quite warm during the day. Set out with an umbrella, for spring rains may be sporadic. Seasonal flowers bloom in the surrounding valleys and the season generally is the best time for travel.
Summer (June –August):
Summer in Phuntsholing is hot, humid and sweltering. The summer monsoon rains also make travelling around Phuntsholing tricky.
Autumn is another best season to visit Phuntsholing. The parks in the town’s centre are full of greenery, the pleasant wind and the clear skies make sightseeing a pleasure.
It does not snow in Phuntsholing in winter. The season is mildly cool, pleasant rather, and you can go sightseeing and trekking up the hilltop monasteries. This is another good season to visit Phuntsholing.
Things to Do
There are not many places to sightsee in Phuntsholing. You can ride a bike across the town, stop your car at the commercial complex and walk around the town, shopping or just photographing the sights you find attractive. The park in Phuntsholing is a good place to spend time with family and friends or to rejoice in solitude. You can participate in a game of basketball.
A simple trek to the Karbandi monastery, the parks close by or the crocodile breeding farm is great. You can also hike up the hills for a view of the landscaped vista around Phuntsholing.
Phuntsholing Sports Association (PSA), Bhutan’s oldest sports association in Norgay Lam that holds taekwondo, badminton, lawn tennis, football tournaments in winter and annual archery events. Visit Tashi Carpet Factory and the Chhukha Hydropower Plant.
Across the Border:
Since India and Bhutan have only a border gateway between them, travel between the two countries is such a spontaneous affair. When you are in Phuntsholing, you can walk across the gate to shop or eat in Jaigaon.
Restaurants in Phuntsholing cater Bhutanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Continental food. Most of the restaurants are found around the central commercial complex. You can try Majenla’s Restaurant for Mexican food or Asian Kitchen Restaurant for Indian and Chinese food.