Hello dear readers, hope you are doing good. Recently I have been very busy with some important work related to my school. Recently I also paid a visit to Samdrup Jongkhar which is a town located to the south-eastern part of Bhutan and also borders Assam. Well, I am all here to tell all about my weekend escapades.
For we Guwahatians a road trip over the weekend or small outing with our family generally means a trip to either Shillong or Cherrapunjee. Indeed it’s our most favourite spot and there are also so many lovely places to explore in Meghalaya. But along with Meghalaya we should also keep in mind that we have a neighbouring country and parts of which are really reachable from Guwahati.
Road Trip to SAMDRUP JONGKHAR in BHUTAN
Very often while commuting daily to school I notice there is a bus with signboard Bhutan, this aroused my interest and I asked my husband about it. He said that there is a town in Bhutan that border Assam and it is just 102.8 km away from Guwahati. With a little more information we started off our journey to explore this neighbouring town of Bhutan. We are also lucky to have friends who are travel freaks just like us and join us on these road trips and are also very informed about lands and places.
We took our car as personal vehicles are best for road trips, still you can also hire cabs or book public vehicles as connectivity to Samdrup is very good. It was actually a sudden plan, it’s like one day we woke up on a Sunday morning and say “Let’s pack our bags, fuel our car and hit the roads” and there we are on our way. I like this kind of impromptu short trips.
How to reach Samdrup Jongkhar-
To reach Samdrup Jongkhar from Assam, all you need is to reach Rangia which is 52km from Guwahati, a one and half an hour ride. From Rangia you enter Baksa District and pass through Tamulpur > Kumarikatta> Darranga and there at the end of Darranga is the entrance to Bhutan.Total distance from Guwahati to Samdrup is 102.8km, a total two and half an hour drive. After you cross Rangia, the view is mesmerising, far far away from the noisy, polluted city life of Guwahati this place is really soothing to both nerves and soul.
Samdrup Jongkhar is situated at an altitude of 233 metres and is the main commercial hub serving nearly all eastern sector of Butan. It is the entry point in the south east bordering the state of Assam in India. There is a Foreign Check post at Darranga at the entry point you don’t need any permit if you planning to come back the same day. But if you are planning for a stay than permit is required, in both cases carry your valid photo id proof. They will check your belongings and let you go.
The moment I entered Bhutan the feel was indeed charming, clean roads, less noise, greenery everywhere. There is a small town which is very close to the entrance gate. On the right is the town are, we also drove towards the left which is a zig-zag way taking you to the higher altitudes, the place there was a little bit isolated so we again came down and visited the market instead. Proper car parking facility is also there.
A local market, stores, grocery shops, wine shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, everything at the heart of the town. Everything is so beautifully placed. At first, we took a stroll around the market area. It was 2.30pm by then and we were really hungry. So we were also eager to taste some Bhutanese wine. We visited Friends’ Cafe, it is a decent place, not that extravagant or something very posh, well we are here to enjoy the common life just like the local people here. Pork lovers you can visit this restaurant, they serve some authentic pork dishes. We ordered some wine and food, it was quite good and reasonable. You need not worry about cash as Indian Currency is accepted there. The local people are very friendly and welcoming towards tourists.
We also had our lunch there and did some shopping in the local market for the rest of the time till we checked out of Samdrup. The local market is a storehouse for those who love to eat and also cook.
I bought some tea leaves they say these tea leaves are good for joint pains, my mom enjoyed drinking the tea its really refreshing, chilly powders freshly grounded, some rajma, there was locally made corn flakes, red rice, etc.
All these items have local names, well I am sure you won’t ask me the names, these are nothing but tongue-twister for me. We also purchased some wine as a gift for our friends back there in Guwahati.
Just before we reached the border there was a Sunday market also called as ‘haat’ in local language, it is also called a Mella Bazar, there are stalls and shops, people from nearby villages come to sell their goods and buyers throng in to fill their bags with items purchased at a much lower rate.
The noise and chaotic atmosphere of this market are quite contrasting to the peaceful, clean and harmonious existence which exists just at the other side of the Bhutan gate. The difference is indeed remarkable and I am sure you are definitely going to notice this once you visit the place.
This is all about out one day drive to Samdrup. We didn’t stay there, I think a days trip is enough, so I cannot give you many details about the hotels and other sight-seeing places in Samdrup Jongkhar. If you are getting bored in the weekends and find no more places to visit and have a passion to explore new places, new people and culture than this is a good choice for a short trip with family and friends. There is also a monastery but we skipped maybe for next time.
For me each and every place in this world is very beautiful, it is up to you how you enjoy in a certain place. Its all about the right temperament and urge to explore new places, meet new people. Hope you liked reading the post and please do comment and don’t forget to hit the share button. Thanks
This is just a part of Bhutan, one of my bucket lists is to make a full trip there, the monastries the beautiful landscape, everything attracts me a lot. I have been following http://www.placesinpixel.com/, since some time and their post on Bhutan is what inspired me a lot. For our itinerar,y we are planning to take help from their detailed post on Bhutan. For all details about Bhutan, you can also check https://www.placesinpixel.com/bhutan-travel-itinerary/
Posted by- Ishani Nath