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Bhutan Visa for Indians: Documents Required, Fee and Complete Process

Team AckoMar 8, 2024

Bhutan is a unique country to visit. It has something fascinating to offer to every traveller. Whether you are seeking culture, nature, adventure, or simply want a peaceful and happy vibe, this country is worth a visit. If you are planning to visit this nation and wondering about Bhutan visas for Indians, then you are on the right page.




What are the requirements for a Bhutan visa for Indians?

To visit Bhutan (BHU), Indian citizens are required to carry any one of the valid travel documents. It could be either an original valid Indian passport with a minimum of 6 months of validity or an original Indian Voters Identity Card. 

Do Indians need a visa to visit Bhutan?

Indian citizens do not require a visa to enter Bhutan. However, Indian citizens travelling to BHU are required to obtain an entry permit to enter the country. The Department of Immigration issues the entry permit after checking the valid documents of the traveller. It can be obtained upon arrival at the port of entry in BHUsuch as Paro International Airport or Phuentsholing land border.

It's important to note that the entry permit is not a visa, and it cannot be used to enter Bhutan multiple times. If you leave BHU and plan to return, you will need to obtain a new entry permit. 

Before you travel to BHU, it's recommended that you confirm the validity of your entry permit with your registered Bhutanese travel agent or Bhutanese tour operator to avoid any issues during your stay.

The entry permit for BHU is only applicable to visiting Paro and Thimphu. For other areas (like Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, and Bumthang) travellers need to obtain a special area permit from the RGoB Immigration Office at Thimphu.

Why is there no Bhutan visa for Indians? 

Indian citizens can travel to Bhutan without a visa, due to the 1949 treaty between BHU and India. This treaty allows for the free movement of citizens between the two countries, as long as it is reciprocal.

What are the documents required for a Bhutan visa for Indians?

Indian nationals can enter BHU through the land borders or take a flight without a visa, but they must obtain an entry permit. The list of documents required for a BHU visa is pretty straightforward. 

To get an entry permit for Bhutan, Indian citizens need to provide the following documents.

  • Original passport with a minimum of six months of validity or original Indian Voter ID card

  • Two passport-sized photographs

  • Travel insurance for the entire duration of the trip

  • Children under the age of 18 can either show their passport with a minimum of 6 months validity or their birth certificate if it is in the English language. Children under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.

It is advisable to contact a registered Bhutanese travel agent or the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in New Delhi, India, for more information on the entry permit requirements and application process.

Is it mandatory to use a local tour operator to visit Bhutan? 

It is optional to use a local tour operator to plan your Bhutan travels. Indian travellers can travel to BHU by planning the trip on their own or by using a local travel agent. The Department of tourism website has a detailed list of tour operators in BHU. 

If you are planning your trip then make sure to apply and obtain a travel permit for Bhutan online. Also, it is worth knowing that you can only stay in Department of Tourism-certified accommodation for the entire trip. Do make arrangements for a tour guide, travel insurance and means of transport to move around BHU. 

How much is the Sustainable Development Fee for Indian tourists visiting Bhutan?

For Indian tourists, the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) to enter BHU is INR 1,200/- per person per night. While children aged between 6-12 years have to pay 50% of SDF, it is waived off for children aged 5 years and below. 

Note that SDF of INR 1200 per person per night is only for residents of India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Citizens of all the other countries visiting BHU are required to pay a high SDF of 200 US dollars (approximately INR 17,000) per person per day. Note that these charges are subject to changes based on development. BHU follows a high-value, low-impact tourism policy. This is to ensure that the tourism industry in the country is sustainable and helps the local communities as much as possible. All travellers entering BHU have to pay a Sustainable Development Fee. This fee varies for travellers from different nationalities.  

What are the requirements to enter Bhutan from India via a private vehicle? 

Indian-registered vehicles are permitted to enter designated zones in BHU. Vehicles can enter the Rinchending check post in Phuentsholing without any additional charges. A green tax of 4500 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day is charged if you plan to go beyond Phuentsholing. 

So you can do land border crossing and drive your car from India into BHU. Register your car on Bhutan Check Post Management System (CPMS) for hassle-free crossing at RBP checkpoints. Here is the list of documents required to enter BHU using an Indian registered vehicle. 

  • Driver's original Indian driving licence

  • Registration Certificate of the car. Note that vehicles that are more than 10 years old are not allowed to enter BHU. 

  • Insurance papers for the car

  • Recent pollution certificate for the car

  • Car fitness check 

  • Note that the owner of the car entering BHU should be the primary driver. It is mandatory to carry an authorisation letter from the car owner in case you are not using a self-owned vehicle to enter BHU. 

Why visit Bhutan?

Here are our top reasons to visit Bhutan: 

  1. Easy Bhutan visa for Indians: There is no visa required to enter BHU. Indian citizens can get entry permits online or at the port of entry. 

  2. Unique culture and traditions: Bhutan has a rich and unique culture that has been preserved over centuries. From its colourful festivals to its traditional clothes, BHU offers a glimpse into a world that is unlike any other.

  3. Natural beauty: Bhutan is home to breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders, including the majestic Himalayan mountains, pristine forests, and sparkling rivers. The country is also known for its diverse flora and fauna, making it a nature lover's paradise.

  4. Buddhism: Vajrayana Buddhism permeates every aspect of life in Bhutan and offers visitors an opportunity to learn about and experience Buddhist teachings.

  5. Happiness: Bhutan is known for its unique approach to measuring the success of the country. Unlike most nations who measure it via Gross Domestic Product (GDP), BHU considers Gross National Happiness (GNH) to measure its success. The people of Bhutan are renowned for their kindness, generosity, and contentment, making it a great destination for anyone seeking a peaceful and happy atmosphere.

  6. Adventure sports: Bhutan offers a range of adventure sports, including trekking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, and kayaking. With its stunning natural landscape, BHU is an ideal destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

The best time to visit Bhutan is during the spring months of March to May and the autumn months of September to November. During these periods, the weather is generally mild. You will experience pleasant temperatures and mostly clear skies during these months. Perfect weather adds to the charm of BHU making outdoor activities and sightseeing comfortable.

The spring months are also an excellent time to witness the beautiful blooming of rhododendrons and other wildflowers, while the autumn months offer clear views of the magnificent Himalayan mountain ranges.

However, if you are interested in visiting BHU during its many festivals or "tshechus," the timing may vary. These festivals follow the lunar calendar and usually occur in different months each year. The most popular tshechus are usually held during the spring and autumn months, so planning your visit around these festivals can be a great way to experience the unique cultural traditions of BHU.

If you are interested in high-altitude trekking then it is worth noting that some routes might be closed from December to February due to snow.  Also, if you are visiting during the summer months of June to August you may experience occasional monsoon rains, which can impact outdoor activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here’s a list of FAQs related to Bhutan visa for Indians.


What is the validity of a Bhutan Visa for Indians? 

Indian citizens are permitted to stay in BHU using an entry permit for a maximum of 15 or 7 days from the entry date. For extended stays, Indian citizens can apply for an extension. 

Is it safe to drive in Bhutan?

It is safe to drive in Bhutan if you are used to driving on mountain terrain. Do follow the traffic rules, get travel permits, and do not overspeed. You should be aware that the weather conditions in BHU can be tough, with landslides being a potential hazard.

Why are hotel bookings required to get a Bhutan entry permit? 

Hotel details are required to get an entry permit for BHUas the Royal Government of Bhutan is required to keep a track of the traveller's address in BHU. You can only book stays in Department of Tourism-certified accommodations in BHU.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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