About Bhutan


Bhutan, officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia, situated in the eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. Known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and commitment to sustainable development, Bhutan is often referred to as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon.”

Key Facts

  • Capital: Thimphu
  • Population: Approximately 750,000
  • Area: 38,394 square kilometers (14,824 square miles)
  • Official Language: Dzongkha
  • Currency: Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN), often pegged to the Indian Rupee (INR)


Bhutan’s topography ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the subalpine Himalayan mountains in the north. The country’s highest peak, Gangkhar Puensum, stands at 7,570 meters (24,836 feet) and remains unclimbed, adding to its mystical allure.

Culture and Religion

Bhutanese culture is deeply rooted in Buddhism, which plays a central role in daily life. The country is known for its unique cultural heritage, preserved through its traditional dress, architecture, festivals, and monasteries. The Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) and Punakha Dzong are among its most iconic landmarks.


Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy in 2008. The King of Bhutan, known as the Druk Gyalpo, is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government. The country has a parliamentary democracy with regular elections.

Gross National Happiness (GNH)

Bhutan is globally renowned for its development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which prioritizes the well-being of its citizens over economic growth. This holistic approach encompasses sustainable development, cultural preservation, environmental conservation, and good governance.


Bhutan’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, forestry, tourism, and the sale of hydroelectric power to neighboring India. The country has limited industrial development, and its economy relies heavily on sustainable practices.


Tourism in Bhutan is regulated to preserve its cultural heritage and natural environment. The “High Value, Low Impact” tourism policy ensures that visitors have an enriching experience while minimizing their impact on the country. Popular tourist activities include trekking, visiting monasteries, and experiencing local festivals like Tshechu.

Environmental Conservation

Bhutan is a leader in environmental conservation, with over 70% of its land under forest cover and a commitment to remaining carbon-negative. The country places high importance on protecting its biodiversity and natural landscapes.


Bhutanese festivals, known as Tshechus, are vibrant and deeply spiritual events held annually in various districts. These festivals feature traditional mask dances, music, and rituals performed by monks and laypeople, attracting both locals and tourists.


Bhutan is a unique and captivating destination that harmoniously blends tradition and modernity. Its commitment to preserving its cultural heritage, protecting the environment, and prioritizing the happiness of its people makes it a fascinating and inspiring country to explore.

Best Time to visit:

The best time to visit Bhutan is generally considered to be either in the spring, between March and May, or in the autumn from September to November. During these months the weather tends to be pleasantly dry and mild, and the scenery – never less than beautiful, of course – is at its most glorious.


Bhutan has two national airlines: Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Direct flights to and from our international airport in Paro connect you to Bangladesh (Dhaka), India (Bagdora, Gauhati, Kolkata and New Delhi), Nepal (Kathmandu), Singapore, and Thailand (Bangkok).


Road is another modes of travel by which visitors enter and exit Bhutan. in recent years, road has become the primary mode of travel with the growth in regional arrivals, mainly from India, with 99 percent entering via Phuentsholing, Bhutan’s commercial hub and main road link to India.

There are four official entry points by road from India: Samtse and Phuentsholing (in western Bhutan), Gelephu (in central Bhutan), and Samdrup Jongkhar (in eastern Bhutan).

Bhutan Visa:

All visitors require a visa before travelling to Bhutan (except those from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, for whom the relevant processes and fees are outlined separately below).

As part of the visa application process, you will be required to pay the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of US$100 per day (per adult; concessionary rates apply for children).

A non-refundable, one-off visa application fee of US$40 is also payable.

You can apply online for a visa or permit by completing an application form, or if you’re travelling with Acharya CSK Tours, we can apply on your behalf. 

Bhutan Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)

The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) is a daily levy paid by visitors to support Bhutan’s development

The SDF is collected by the national exchequer and funds are allocated to various projects that create long-term, sustainable opportunities for the Bhutanese people, through free healthcare, education and training, upskilling the tourism and hospitality industry, improved infrastructure, environmental preservation and conservation, cultural preservation programs and initiatives that support local businesses and economies

The SDF is USD 100 per night for adults from all countries except for India. Children aged between 6 years and who have not yet turned 12 are eligible to pay USD 50 per night. Children who have not yet turned 6 years old do not have to pay any SDF.

The SDF for Indian nationals (showing a valid Indian passport or Voter ID card) is Nu. 1,200 (or the equivalent amount in Indian rupees) per person, per night. Children aged between 6 years and who have not yet turned 12 are eligible to pay Nu./INR 600 per night. Children who have not yet turned 6 years old do not have to pay any SDF.

Source:  Department of Tourism, Bhutan.