Boasting a rich amalgamation of culture, ethnicity, art and scenic beauty, the border town of Phuentsholing serves as the gateway to the ‘land of thunder dragons’ from the Indian states of West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam. Lying in the Himalayan foothills at an altitude of just 300 meters and adjacent to the sweltering town of Jaigaon in West Bengal, Phuentsholing offers tourists a glimpse into the fascinating culture, heritage and traditions of Bhutan.
Unlike the other places of Bhutan, it is a bustling urban town with modern architecture and a sprawling commercial hub. It is imperative that shopaholics visit this vibrant market and get enamored with the exquisite range of items and local fruits and vegetables sold here. Tourists will immediately notice a lack of dzongs in Phuentsholing. However, this abode of Kings and Queens in the Himalayan Kingdom with its cleanliness and organization makes sure that the travelers coming from the Indian side know that they are in Bhutan.
With its immense tranquility and simplicity, Phuentsholing delights tourists with its wildlife conservation park, serene monasteries, scenic viewpoints which captivates tourists with magnificent views of the Bengal plains, and nature parks. One cannot miss the visually striking Bhutan Gate when visiting this town. Famous for being a photographer’s delight and one of the most popular landmarks of Bhutan, the Bhutan Gate greets tourists with its impressive design. For animal lovers, there’s not a better way to spend their afternoon here than to treat themselves to the sight of the feeding session of crocodiles in the Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre, a wildlife conservation sanctuary of apex predators including mugger crocodiles and endangered gharials as well as migratory birds. The various nature parks of Phuentsholing like the Phuentsholing Park and the Zangto Pelri Park, along with the gorgeous Torsa River Side, make this town an alluring destination for both honeymooners and nature lovers alike.
Travelers filled with intense religious fervor can visit the Zangto Pelri Lhakhang and listen to the enchanting hymns chanted by the monks here and refresh their hearts and souls with the utmost calmness of this place. A visit to the scenic Karbandi Monastery mesmerizes one with the majestic life-size statues of Bodhisattvas along with the 8 Tibetan Buddhist Stupas. Therefore, it is not wrong to say that a fun and laidback short stay in the border town of Phuentsholing prepares one for the greener pastures of mainland Bhutan.