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

Visa Process
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.

About 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:

  • Sunscreen
  • Earplugs
  • 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

  • FnB Restaurant
    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.

English Dzongkha
Good Morning Chubo dele
My Name is.. Nga gi ming _____ in
Where? Gatey?
Yes Inn
No Men
Please Gom mathrae
Sorry Tsip maza
How Much is This for? Gadem chi mo?

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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.