Phuentsholing , Western Zone
Dzongkha, Nepali, Hindi and English
Phuentsholing or Phuntsholing is strikingly notable for its cleanliness and tranquillity. It is a small city located at the base of Himalayan foothills and acts as a gateway to Bhutan for Indian travellers. As it is at the border, you will see a commingling of people of the countries, India, Bhutan and Nepal, and of different religions and ethnic backgrounds. Hence it is a thriving trade centre. In sharp contrast to other places of Bhutan, this city has allowed the influence of modernity to some extent and the hustle-bustle of the people is a common sight. The Indian side of the city is known by the name Jaigaon. This border famously called Bhutan Gate and the patrolling of the soldiers are sights not to be missed. Note that entry is not permitted without the possession of ID cards or passport.
There are many sightseeing places in and around Phuentsholing. For wildlife lovers, a trip to the Crocodile Breeding Centre called Amo Chuu will prove satisfactory. Here the people are allowed to see the dangerous animal from a very close distance. If time permits, do have a visit to the Chuckha Hydrothermal project but ensure you have the permission beforehand.
Religious sites should undoubtedly be the priorities of people travelling to Bhutan. Here you should see Zandopelri temple which is at the centre of the city. It is the heavenly abode of Guru Rinpoche and the walls are decorated with the paintings of Buddha’s life. It houses the statues of many Buddhists personalities like Avalokiteshwara and many Bodhisattvas. Equally sacred is the Karbandi monastery, situated at a height of 400 metres. It is believed to be the place where once an Indian couple offered their prayers and later were blessed with a child. Well this place has something in store for non-believers too. One gets to see the untouched and serene beauty of the valleys and plains from the top.