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Travel from New Delhi to Bhutan

  • by Eric
  • Last Updated: 2024-04-22

Reaching Bhutan from New Delhi is relatively easy and there are several transport options available. From Delhi, one can choose to travel to Bhutan by flight, by train and by road. Currently, there are two land ports between Bhutan and India. If you’re planning to visit Bhutan next after Delhi, check out the article below.

Tiger's Nest
Tiger's Nest, the landmark of Bhutan.

Required Documents

For Indian nations intending to visit Bhutan, you just need to take your Indian passport having a validity of a minimum of 6 months, or voter identity card, issued by the Election Commission of India, along with recent passport-size photographs.

For other international travelers intending to visit Bhutan, you need to get a Bhutanese visa, which can only be obtained through a local Bhutanese travel agent. Usually, it takes 2 weeks and you need to pay in full for your trip to Bhutan as the government levies a tax (SDF). So payment is a prerequisite for getting a Bhutanese visa. Please provide the following information as well: passport size photo, address with phone number, and passport.

After the remittance, please notify your travel agency so that they can check and receive the remittance promptly. Upon receipt of the remittance, the tourist office can apply for a visa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Going from New Delhi, India, to Bhutan typically involves a combination of flight and road travel. You can take a flight to Paro International Airport in Bhutan, then travel to Thimphu, which is the capital city of Bhutan. Here are some possible transportation modes.

Flight from Delhi to Bhutan

The most common and convenient way to travel from Delhi to Bhutan is by flight. Not only does it save effort and time, but most importantly, the airplane offers a view of the majestic Himalayas, with a mountain range stretching out in front of you at an altitude of about 10,000 meters, and snow-capped peaks of 7,000 to 8,000 meters close at hand, very spectacular. This is the snowy plateau where few humans have set foot, the third pole of the world. Flying from Delhi to Bhutan, be sure to book a window seat on the left as you fly along the southern foothills of the Himalayas, with close-up views of Annapurna, Mount Everest, Gangtok Janga, and virtually all of the 8,000-meter snow-capped peaks of the Everest range, and unparalleled snow vistas.

Himalayan views
Admire Himalayan views on the plane.

There are usually direct flights available from Indira Gandhi International Airport(DEL) in New Delhi to Paro International Airport(PBH), the only international airport in Bhutan. This flight is operated by Bhutan's national carrier - Druk Air, or sometimes by Bhutan Airlines. Prices are categorized into off-season and peak-season and there is basically no discount.

Druk Air operates 4-5 weekly direct flights from Delhi to Paro, departing Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 04:10 and arriving at Paro Airport (PBH) at 06:40, with a flight time of less than 3 hours. For details, please check at when you are ready to travel.

Bhutan Airlines operates a variable number of weekly flights from Delhi to Paro with a stopover in Kathmandu. For details, please check at when preparing to travel.

Tickets can also be booked through a Bhutanese travel agent, but given the possibility of ticket changes or refunds, it is suggested that you use a Bhutanese travel agent if seats are not tight, in case the agency can make changes to the ticket easier.

Druk Air
Druk Air operates most direct flights from Delhi to Paro.

Please note that for non-Indian travelers, you must get a Bhutanese visa to buy a Bhutanese flight ticket. When transferring flights via Indira Gandhi International Airport, please remember to print out all your ticket itineraries, as the departure level of Delhi Airport can only be entered with a same-day ticket.

It is important to remember to print out all ticket itineraries for connecting flights via Delhi, as the Delhi airport departure level is only accessible on the basis of the same day's ticket.

Road Trip from Delhi to Bhutan

The total distance from Delhi to Bhutan is approximately 1,600 kilometers. And the roads are usually narrow, windy and dangerous. The journey by road typically takes around 30 to 35 hours, depending on traffic conditions, road quality, and the chosen route. It's a long and tiring journey, so it's essential to plan for rest stops and overnight stays along the way.

Traveling from New Delhi to Bhutan entirely by land is not suggested as it involves a significantly longer travel time and multiple transfers. If you have some visit plan along the way, you may consider a combination of air, train and ground transportation.

Indian nationals can drive their own cars to Bhutan and after crossing the border, you can obtain a permit from the Regional Transport Office in Phuentsholing for a fee of approximately 200 Ngultrum (Bhutanese currency), which is approximately 200 Indian Rupees.

Currently, there are only two land ports from India to Bhutan.

Via Phuntsholing

The first land port is Phuntsholing in southwestern Bhutan, bordering the Indian state of West Bengal. The famous cities in West Bengal include Kolkata (2hr flight from Delhi/27hr train ride from Delhi/29hrs drive from Delhi) and Darjeeling(2hr flight from Delhi/24-33hrs train ride from Delhi/29hrs drive from Delhi). By the way, India has a large railway network, making travel relatively convenient. Trains from all over India converge in West Bengal and can connect you to the nearest railway station to the border crossing. It will significantly reduce the cost of overland travel from New Delhi to Bhutan but may require a long ride. You can take a bus to Jaigaon from Kolkata or Darjeeling in 7 hours or 10 hours.

Bhutan Gate
Bhutan Gate on Jaigaon side.

Jaigaon is an Indian border town on the border with Phuntsholing. Jaigaon and Phuntsholing are separated by a street, but they are contrasting. Jaigaon is a typical Indian style, noisy, dirty and disorderly. Phuntsholing, just a street away, is quiet and clean. The accommodation conditions in the Indian town of Jaigaon are poor, and it is recommended to stay overnight in the Bhutanese town of Phuntsholing. After passing through Phuntsholing, there's a distance of approximately 176 kilometers(about 109 miles) to Thimphu by road and it takes around 6 hours.

Via Samdrup Jongkhar

The second land port is located in Samdrup Jongkhar in southeastern Bhutan, which borders the tea-rich Assam state of India. It is the perfect entry point for trekkers trying to reach the remote eastern part of Bhutan. Not only that, Guwahati Airport-Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport(4.5hrs flight from Delhi/27hrs by train from Delhi) is only 3 hours away from the border port and provides a variety of connecting flights. Usually, tourists fly from Delhi to Guwahati Airport and then take a bus to Samdrup Jongkhar. Tourists entering Bhutan via Samdrup Jongkhar will pass through the country's largest District, Trashigang, and from there eastward through Mongar District, Bumthang District, Trongsa District and Wangde Phodrang District to Thimphu. The distance is approximately 374 kilometers(232 miles) and takes around 9 to 10 hours to travel by road. And of course, you can visit along the way, which takes 2 days travel time.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong
Trashi Chhoe Dzong is a majestic and grand castle in Thimphu.


Aircraft and ground transportation are the two important transportation ways from New Delhi to Bhutan, which brings more convenience to tourists. If your budget is enough, it is advisable to fly from Delhi to Paro. Alternatively, you can combine airplanes, trains, and cars to control time and travel costs to start the exciting Delhi - Bhutan trip, witness the amazing beauty of this land of Bhutan, and appreciate the richness and diversity of Bhutan culture and traditions.

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