Travel Guide To Thimphu
Indian Embassy in Thimphu
Embassy of India
Address: Embassy of India
PO Box:193, Jungshina, Thimphu
Tel. Nos.: +975-2-322162, Fax: +975-2-323195
Visa Process for Indians
Indian citizens do not require a Visa to travel to Thimphu. Indian citizens are required to carry their passports and voter ID card to travel to Thimphu.
The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is a place which has a population of approximately 80,000. Being the largest city situated in Bhutan, Thimphu became the capital in the year 1961. Also known as the third highest capital around the globe, Thimphu is just an hour drive from Bhutan International Airport. The city has a stronghold of the Bhutanese culture and tradition. This is also the only capital which does not have any traffic lights installed.
Top Places to Visit in Thimphu
Tashichho Dzong – Dzong architecture is a unique kind of fortress architecture found mainly in Bhutan. Tashichho Dzong is one of the most stunning Dzongs in Bhutan, which now serves as a government building where the various king offices, government, and ministries are put up. This historic landmark was once a beautiful monastery, and this is the place where the famous Thimphu Tshechu takes place in the courtyard every year. A fine example of Bhutanese architecture, its intricate detail and beauty never fail to stun the tourists.
Changangkha Lhakhang – This one is an auspicious spot which overflows with religious faith as well as purity. Considered as the pride of Thimphu, this place is constantly bustling with devotees and kids as it is a holy site where parents keep the name for their new borns. The most unique this about this temple is the innocent cries of babies and temple bells which sound merciful to ears of the tourists. The golden prayer wheels, serene atmosphere, and exquisite decorations make this tourist attraction a must-visit site for any person visiting Thimphu.
Memorial Chorten – Being one of the tallest monuments in Thimphu, this spot attracts tourists from all around the world with its stunning architecture. This divine place also gives tourist a vision of Buddhism through its marvellous sculptures, great artwork, and wall carvings. Moreover, this ancient monument highlights Buddhist culture, serving as an amazing place to explore around while mesmerising the aura of the place.
Buddha Dordenma - The entry of the tourists in the quaint town of Thimphu is welcomed by a 51 metres tall gold-plated statue of Buddha Dordenma, which is completely made of steel. The night sees this statue stunningly illuminated and makes it an exceptional sight to behold. The holy temples situated around this legendary statue offers a sense of peace to the mind and is also home to around 125,000 beautiful sculptures of Buddha.
How to Reach Thimphu
Various airlines carry passengers from India to Bhutan on an everyday basis. The two major flights which have a direct landing at Thimphu are the Druk Air Flight and the Bhutan Airlines Flight. From there you can take a taxi which would take you to the Thimphu area. This journey would take about one and a half hours.
Best Time to Visit Thimphu
The ideal time to visit Thimphu is September – November and March-May. During the summer months, the weather in Thimphu is extremely hot and humid and also there exist high chances of rainfall. Apart from that, during the winter months, the excessive cold weather can hard to endure. Therefore, you should try visiting this place during the months of September till November or during springtime as it is then when the skies are clear as well as the sun is shining.
Things to Pack
Packing the essentials products like clothes and footwears usually depends on what the weather conditions are like in Bhutan. Here is a list of some of the travel essentials one must never forget to pack:
- Rain Jacket or Umbrella
- First Aid Kit
- Important documents such as travel insurance policy
Top Delicacies of Thimphu
Ema Datshi - Considered the most popular dish in Bhutanese cuisine, Ema Datshia is the staple of almost every meal. Made from cheese and chilli peppers and cheese; ‘ema’ refers to chilli and ‘datshi’ refers to cheese. Bhutanese make a lot of use of chilli and cheese in their cuisine. The cheese in this dish is home-made from the curd of yaks and cows. The fat is extracted from the curd to prepare butter, and the left-out curd without fat is used in making the cheese. The remaining watery liquid from the cheese-making process is added to rice as soup.
Kewa Datshi - Less spicy than ema datshi, this staple Bhutanese dish is a popular one. ‘Kewa’ refers to potato and ‘datshi’ refers to cheese. This particular dish has been passed down through the generations.
Yak Meat - The scrumptious sweet and delicately-flavoured red meat is flavourful and juicier than elk and buffalo. The best part about it is that it’s a lean protein option which is quite rich in natural oils. Meat dishes are always served with rice, which is the main body of the majority of Bhutanese meals, or barley, and buckwheat. A delicious variety of vegges is served as side dishes, mainly pumpkin, spinach, green beans, turnips, radishes, and river weed.
Momos – Momos are the dumplings which are inherited from Tibetan cuisine. Stuffed with beef, pork or cheese and cabbage. This dish usually prepared for special occasions and is an all-time Bhutanese favourite.
Shopping List Essentials (Where to Shop)
Weekly Market - The weekly market is the place where the local residents and tourists buy the freshest varieties of fruit and vegetables. If your itinerary allows you to be in Thimphu during the weekend, then this market should not be missed. Bhutanese travel from far off places including remote areas, to sell these products.
Druk Trin Rural Handicrafts Center - Brainchild of an extremely successful businesswoman, the Druk Trin Rural Handicrafts Center has branch stores in the lobbies of some of the most renowned hotel properties in Bhutan. The store on Jangchub Lam carries a stunning selection of embroidered linens and woven textiles. Other than that, it also consists of an antique textile display.
The Archery Shop - Run by a group of very experienced archers, the archery shop specialises in American-made fibreglass bows. Apart from that, they also keep a stock of old-style bows and arrows. There’s an indoor practice range for the tourists who want to test the bows before purchasing.
Norzim Lam – There exist many spectacular craft stalls in Norzim Lam near Taj Tashi. You get the opportunity to hunt up a great bargain, and there is a stunning range of crafts to offer. Some of the best shops here are Sephub Gyeltsen Tsongkhang and the Gho’s and Kira’s.
Top Indian Restaurants in Thimphu
Chh'a Bistro & Bar
Location: Changzamtok, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 02330055
Sinchula Indian Cuisine
Location: Phendey Lam, Hongkong Market, Near Sangay Enterprise, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 2 336 971
Location: Norzin Lam | Next to PNB Bank, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 83 99 88
Healthcare Centres in Thimphu
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital
Location: Gongphel Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 63 34 98
Menjong Diagnostic Centre Private Limited
Location: Thegchhen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Contact: +975 17 11 10 29
The currency of Thimphu is Bhutanese Ngultrum.
Basics of Local Communication
The national language of Thimphu, Bhutan, is Dzongkha. Locals easily understand English; however, it is always better to keep a few local phrases handy for a great trip.
|Good Morning||Chubo dele|
|My Name is..||Nga gi ming _____ in|
|How Much is This for?||Gadem chi mo?|
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