Theme Week Bhutan – Phuentsholing

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Phuntsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan and is the administrative seat of Chukha District. The town occupies parts of both Phuentsholing Gewog and Sampheling Gewog. Phuentsholing adjoins the Indian town of Jaigaon, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. The town had the headquarters of the Bank of Bhutan previously but shifted to Thimphu. In 2017, Phuentsholing had a population of 27,658.

On 5 April 1964, reformist Prime Minister Jigme Dorji was assassinated in Phuntsholing by monarchist cadres as the king lay ill in Switzerland. The Dorji family was subsequently put under close watch. It was 1958 when the first one-storeyed cottage was constructed to house a shop. The late Prime Minister, Jigme Dorji informed Phuentsholing residents that concrete houses could be constructed. Tashi group of companies constructed the first concrete house, followed by Tibetans and Indians. Some of the structures that exist to this day are the buildings housing Bhutan Enterprise, Jatan Prasad Lal Chand Prasad shop and a beauty parlour near Zantdopelri lhakhang. After the announcement, 18 shops were built around Zangdopelri area. The Zangdopelri area was a bus terminal, and on Saturday a market would be assembled. Apart from the cottages, there were several huts and Phuentsholing was beginning to grow.

Zangdokpalri temple © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0 Prayer wheel © Christopher J. Fynn/cc-by-sa-4.0 Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kharbandi Gompa © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0 Street view © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0 Traditional design of a hotel building © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0
The India-Bhutan border at Phuntsholing clearly separates two very different peoples and cultures. Jaigaon across the border is larger, bustling and loud, similar to many other West Bengal centres of commerce, albeit with many Bhutanese shoppers. Phuntsholing is uniquely more urban than other Bhutanese towns as it is the Bhutan financial, industrial and trading capital. It has been affected a little by the neighbouring culture, but is distinctly far more quiet and orderly than its neighbour. The majority of goods traded into Bhutan transit through Phuntsholing, making the town the gateway to Bhutan for trade with India. The border with China is closed.

The border is separated by a long wall with a single Bhutanese gate. Locals can sometimes even cross without being asked for papers. Tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives do not need visa to enter Bhutan but have to show proof of identity such as a passport or voter ID card and apply for a permit at Phuntsholing to enter Bhutan. Other foreigners need a visa presented by a hired registered tour guide. The entry gate into the town is manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal and Bhutanese Army guards. The terrain inclines soon after the gate.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Bhutan.travel, Wikitravel Phuentsholing, Wikivoyage Phuentsholing and Wikipedia Phuentsholing. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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