Travel Guide to Bhutan

Indian Embassy in Bhutan

Embassy of India

PO Box:193,



Contact Number: +975-2-322162

Visa Process for Indian Visitors to Bhutan

Indian nationals intending to visit Bhutan are required to carry any of the two valid 'Travel Documents' (a) Valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months; and/or (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India. No Visa is required to visit Bhutan.

Bhutan or as it is officially, known as, the Kingdom of Bhutan, is the landlocked country located in South Asia. Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by Tibet and China in the north, Sikkim and Tibet’s Chumbi Valley on the west, Arunachal Pradesh, from the east and Assam from the south. There are many fantastic places to visit in Bhutan. Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and its largest city, while Phuntsholing is the financial centre of the region.

Here are a few rugged terrains of Bhutan for mountaineers–

  • Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan
  • Sub-alpine Himalayan landscape
  • A Himalayan peak from Bumthang
  • Jigme Dorji National Park
  • The Haa Valley in Western Bhutan
  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Simtokha Dzong

How to Reach

Here are a few ways to reach Bhutan-

  • By Train- You would have first to visit Kolkata if you want to visit the tourist places in Kolkata and then embark on a train journey which would take you to Bhutan. If you are planning to travel there from North India, then you should reach any of the stations of Delhi, Ranchi or Kanpur to take a train from there.
  • By Air- Bhutan offers two national carriers—Drukair and Bhutan Airlines to accommodate people who want to fly into the country. Drukair carries tourists from all over the world regularly to Paro, the only international airport of Bhutan.

Best time to Visit

  • March – April - The climate of Bhutan is dry and spring-like.
  • May – June - Bhutan is laden with occasional showers and a warm temperature.
  • July – September - The beginning of rainy season in Bhutan when the temperature is still warm.
  • October – November- Sprinkled with Occasional showers and cooler atmosphere, Bhutan is a marvellous sight to watch.
  • December – February - Probably one of the best times to visit Bhutan, when it is coupled with occasional snowfall and colder environment. Bhutan feels like a story straight out of a fairy-tale.

What to Pack?

The climate of Bhutan varies at different regions within the country, the five very distinct seasons of summer, autumn, spring, monsoon, and winter dictate the things to do in Bhutan for a tourist.

Here is what you need to pack by the climate –

  • The subtropical temperature of southern highlands of Bhutan – a Light-warm jacket, jeans, a couple of tee-shirts and skirts.
  • The polar-type climate that ensures that north of Bhutan is year-long covered with snow – woollen jackets, woolly coats, thermal flasks to carry hot beverages, etc.
  • Western Bhutan boasts of the heavier rains of the monsoon – You should carry a few waterproofs like Trench coats, shoes, etc.
  • Travel insurance policy which ensures that your vacation remains stress-free even if events like loss of passport, personal accident, illness, etc.; strike.

Top Delicacies

The country is known not only for its famous tourist destinations but also for its cuisine. Bhutanese cuisine consists of lots of red rice that is basically brown rice in texture with a nutty taste. The only other variety of rice found in Bhutan is the one that grows on the higher altitudes, like buckwheat and maize. While Buckwheat is the main meal of the people of Bumthang, maize is the staple food of the Eastern districts.

The diet of the people mainly consists of yak meat, chicken, pork, dried beef, pork fat and lamb in soups and stews. Meals mainly consist of meat, ferns, rice, lentils, spiced with chilli, dried vegetables, peppers and cheese.

  • Zow shungo is a rice dish that is mixed and served with leftover vegetables.
  • Ema Datshi made with large green chilli peppers and a spicy, cheese sauce; it is also the national dish of Bhutan.
  • Jasha Maru is a chicken stew.
  • Phaksha Paa is a dish made with dried pork that is cooked with spices, chilli peppers, greens and turnips or radishes.
  • Khabzey is some dried fritters found in Bhutan that are made with water, flour and sugar, and then fried deeply.
  • Other popular snacks of Bhutan include momos or the Bhutanese dumplings, Shakam Eeza, Shakam Paa and Goep.

Indian Restaurants in Bhutan

Folk Heritage Museum

  • Located at: Folk Heritage Museum | Kawajangsa, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian-Friendly
  • Contact No.: 02-334637

My Kind of Place

  • Located at: Paro, Bhutan
  • Cuisine: Indian, Asian,
  • Contact No.: +975 77 41 17 84

Hotel Ghasel

  • Located at: Nordzin Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian-Friendly
  • Contact No.: +975 2 324 002

Shopping List Essentials

  • Handicrafts Market: Selling everything from wooden bowls, mala beads to yak tails, the market is situated across the Kundeyling Baazam cantilever footbridge.
  • Thimphu Market: Held on every Saturday and Sunday, this market is a shopper’s delight which should not be missed. Here, you can find some amazing items at jaw-dropping prices.

There are some duty-free shops as well where you can find imported items like food products, cosmetics, liquor and other interesting products.

Healthcare Centres

Health is one of the top priorities of the government of Bhutan where all the health-related issues are overseen by the Royal Ministry of Health. Various schemes for the development and modernisation of the health infrastructure and traditional medicines have been issued by the government. Here, you can call your travel insurance company who would help you in getting good treatment at leading hospitals, and all the expenses would be paid by the insurer. Moreover, the travel insurer would initiate medical evacuation in case of medical emergency.

Basics of Local Communication

Bhutanese people speak a variety of languages with Dzongkha being the most widely spoken national language. English is also spoken by a vast majority of people in the Bhutanese community making communication for/with tourists extremely easy.

Bhutan has an excellent team of interpreters and guides who are well versed in the history of Bhutan and have excellent communication skills. All the guides of Bhutan are licensed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan who only issues the certificates after thorough testing of the candidates. Most of the Bhutanese guides are fluent in Japanese, Spanish, Thai or other European languages making tourists all over the world feel welcome.

By learning these basic Dzongkha phrases, tourists can easily reciprocate the hospitality of the people in their native language:

  • Hello – Kuzuzangpo la
  • Thank you – Kadrin Chey la
  • My name is John – Ney gi ming John inn la
  • What is your name? – Chhey gi Ming Gha chi Mo
  • How much? – Gaa Dam Chi Mo la

By keeping in mind, the points mentioned above, you will be able to enjoy Bhutan more.

Why Choose ICICI Lombard General Insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance*) Travel Insurance?

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What kinds of medical coverage’s are provided??

The following medical expenses are covered: 

  • Travel insurance includes medical expenses, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Even dental care expenses such as acute anesthetic treatment of teeth are covered.

What is a deductible?

“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.

What Is Not Covered Under the Travel Insurance Plan?

  • Medical Expenses (inclusive of Repatriation and Emergency Medical Evacuation), Daily Allowance in case of hospitalization, Compassionate Visit benefits, the following will not be payable for Any pre-existing condition, Routine examinations, Expenses for rest or recuperation at spa/ health resort/ sanatorium, Pregnancy (including childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or related complications ) or treatment relating to the removal of physical flaws or anomalies (cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery).
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless such cosmetic surgery is rendered medically necessary as part of treatment for accidents and burns whilst being abroad.
  • Suicide, attempted or wilfully self inflicted injury or illness, mental disorder, anxiety, stress or depression, venereal disease, alcoholism, drunkenness or the abuse of drugs, or any loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any injury, illness, death, loss, expense, or other liability attributable to HIV and/or any HIV related illness including AIDS and/or any mutant derivative or variation thereof however caused.
  • Treatment which could be reasonably delayed until the Insured’s return to India, which will be decided jointly by the treating Physician and the Emergency Assistance Service Provider and shall be in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
  • The Insured taking part in naval, military or air force operations; war and nuclear perils.
  • Insured engaging in air travel unless he or she flies as a Fare Paying passenger in an aircraft licensed to carry passengers.
  • Participation of the Insured in winter sports, mountaineering and such other professional sports or any other hazardous or potentially dangerous sport for which the Insured members are adequately trained, physically fit and using proper equipment. and that too only if specifically agreed and mentioned in the policy schedule.
  • Hazardous occupation, or if engaged in any criminal or illegal act.
  • Medical Expenses in respect of Experimental, investigational or unproven treatments or treatments which are not consistent with or incidental to the diagnosis and treatment of the positive existence or presence of any Illness for which confinement is required at a Hospital. Any Illness or treatment which is a result or a consequence of undergoing such experimental or unproven treatment.
  • Naturopathy treatment.
  • Non Allopathic treatment e.g. - Ayurvedic, Yogic, Homeopathic, Unani treatment(s).
  • Under no circumstances shall this insurance contract be deemed to provide cover and no liability be incurred to pay any claim or provide any benefit hereunder to the extent that the provision of such cover, payment of such claim or provision of such benefit would expose us to any sanction, prohibition, or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America & India

You can avail the Travel Insurance online and enjoy the benefits offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance*)

What Is Covered Under Travel Insurance?

Loss of passport and documents:

Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost

Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):

Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.

Hijack Distress Allowance

Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.

Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration  and Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases,  Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.

Legal Expenses

Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.

Personal Accident

Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.

Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption

Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.

Trip Delay

 Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.

 Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation

 Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation

 Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to ­fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

Why do I need Travel insurance?

During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.

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