This town, just like all other towns in Bhutan offers an environment which is rich in natural beauty and is peaceful; you can breathe in fresh and clean air here in Phuentsholing as well. However, it is not a place of huge tourist attraction when compared to the tourist hubs of Bhutan. But that does not necessarily imply that you can have nothing to see around in this town because remember that almost all towns in Bhutan are rich in natural beauty; include the glamor of modern architecture to it and you will get Phuentsholing. This town is the second largest town in Bhutan. Lying on the Indian border, this town is of substantial business and economic importance because it is a meeting ground for the Bhutanese and the Indians. All tourists and individuals, except Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian citizens, require a Bhutanese visa for entering this town.
The first ever one-storied cottage was built in the year 1958 and it had a shop. The first concrete houses in Phuentsholing were built by the Tashi Group of Companies (the largest privately owned conglomerate of companies in Bhutan). They were followed by Indians and Tibetans. The bus terminus was at Zangdopelri. On every Saturday, a market used to be assembled in this area. Phuentsholing was beginning to grow during this time and the town had a number of huts apart from the cottages.
How to reach?
If you are traveling from Kolkata, you can get a direct bus from Esplanade to Phuentsholing. The journey takes about eighteen to twenty-five hours. Hasimara is the nearest railway station. From Hasimara, you can just take a thirty minutes’ bus ride to reach your destination. However, New Jalpaiguri station happens to be a more preferred choice even though the journey from this station to the destination takes four hours’ time.
Best time to visit
Phuentsholing has a warm and temperate climate. Compared to the winter months the summers get more rainfall; the average annual temperature is 23.2° C. The warmest month is August and January is the coldest.
Clothes to be carried
In general, Bhutan is a cold country. Even in summers, you will need to layer up with light woolen garments. Needless to say, if you are visiting during winter, carry heavy woolen garments. So, no matter at what time of the year you are visiting, make sure that you carry woolen garments. The temperatures in Phuentsholing range from 16°-27.4° C. So, you can already decide for yourself what kind of clothes should be carried.
Places to visit
Just like all other towns and cities in Bhutan, Phuentsholing also has clean air to breathe in to rejuvenate your heart, body, and mind. Some of the places to visit when you are in Phuentsholing are listed below.
What about a day spent in the company of crocodiles? This place has a crocodile breeding center. This is situated on the river banks and situated behind the town’s bus terminus. These crocodiles which are bred in this breeding center are later released in a natural reserve.
This monastery is mostly visited by newlywed couples who wish to have children. The monastery gained huge popularity after an Indian couple was blessed to conceive after praying at this monastery. Even if you do not have such wishes, visiting this monastery is definitely worth it. The view from this monastery expanding over the Bengal plains and Phuentsholing will definitely mesmerize you. You can book a cab and reach the monastery, but choose to walk (downhill) on your way back because the experience will really refresh your mind.
This is a great place to start your Bhutan trip. After all, a clichéd photograph is really needed while starting or ending your trip.
Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang
This temple is situated in the center of the city. This temple is built as a tribute to Guru Rinpoche. There are magnificent manifestations and paintings on the ground and the subsequent floors. You will get to see different stages of the life of Buddha as you walk around in the temple. The architectural wonders of the temple are sure to leave you awestruck.
Local population or demography
As noted in the year 2005, the population of Phuentsholing was 20537. The town consists of parts of Phuentsholing Gewog as well as Sampheling Gewog.
Bhutan is well known for its natural beauty. Phuentsholing, in particular, is usually the starting and ending point of most road trips to Bhutan. As the town is located on the border of India, you can indulge in the Indian cuisine in some really great restaurants and hotels or try out the native Bhutanese dishes as well. In whatever way, you choose to spend your stay, it is definitely going to be a memorable one!
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