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International travelers to the Indian Himalayas usually fly into the gateway city of Delhi. The flights arrive around midnight, and the domestic flights to Leh or other areas leave in the morning, so most travelers stay at least one night in a Delhi hotel. If you are making your own arrangements in Delhi, it is advisable to hire a taxi to your hotel at the prepaid taxi stand in the arrival hall.

There are two ways to obtain an Indian visa, but both must be applied for before your arrival. The old way is to obtain one from an Indian Consulate, preferably in your home country, prior to travel. In the USA this can be accomplished by downloading a visa form and instructions from The new way is to obtain an eTourist Visa on arrival by applying on-line at: at least four days before your departure for India.

eTourist Visa on Arrival

Citizens of Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Island, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Island, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Naura, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Somoa, Singapore, Solomon Island, Thailand, Tongo, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, and Vietnam can get an eTourist Visa On Arrival, if they have applied online at least four days before arrival. Its validity would be for 30 days. It would be valid only for single entry and is available only at the international airports at Bangaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderbad,  Kolkata, Mumbai, Trivendum. This  visa can neither be extended nor converted to any other kind of visa during the stay in India except in certain exceptional circumstances.

The tourist visa on arrival facility shall not be applicable to holders of diplomatic and official passports.

Required documents:
    1. Passport with 6 months validity
   2. Two passport sized photographs
   3. Photo copy of passport’s I.D. page
   4. Hotel booking confirmation if possible
   5. Production of return/onward air ticket

In Ladakh, special permits are only required for restricted areas like the Nubra Valley and for summiting certain peaks. We will arrange for these permits as part of our trip package.

For Sikkim travelers, an innerline permit is required to enter the state and can be obtained free of charge in Siliguri after landing at the Bagdogra Airport. A passport size photo is required. For trekking in Sikkim, an additional trekking permit is required and must be applied for in advance or your trip. We will assist in obtaining these permits as part of our trip package.

The official currency in India is the Indian Rupee. Travelers can change money at the airport or at the banks and official money exchanges in Delhi and other cities. These exchangers will readily accept cash. American Express travelers checks are usually accepted, but other brands of travelers checks are harder to exchange. Credit cards are accepted at some businesses. ATM machines are beginning to make their appearance, but they are not widespread.

A wide price range of hotels is available in Delhi, but generally, the better ones are expensive (as in most big cities). Lodging in Leh is much more reasonable and can range from guest houses to Class A hotels. Most hotels in Leh have meal plans that are included with the cost of the room. We will gladly arrange accommodations to suit your budget.

Telephones and E-mail
India’s telephone system works well. The traveler can make local and international calls from one of the many STD/ISD facilities. The country code for India is 91. The city code for Delhi 011 and for Leh is 01982. Internet service is widely available.

India is 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of New York (5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of GMT).

Voltage is 220 at 50 cycles AC. The central electricity in Leh usually is only available after dark. Many establishments have their own generators as a backup. Electricity is usually not available in the rest of Ladakh.

Flights to and from Leh


There are 3 to 5 flights each day in the summer.

Leh-Srinagar (twice a week)

Leh-Jammu (twice a week)

Currently the only airlines flying to Leh are:

JET Airways

Air India

Go Air

Air Vistara


Tourists can only enter Bhutan through Paro if flying in, or Phuentsholing if arriving by road. The only approved airline is Bhutan's own Druk Air. An example of the flight schedule is given below. Check their website: for the most up to date schedule. To arrive by road, the closest airport is Bagdogra.

Bhutan Visa Formalities
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; the Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process and validity of the passport should not be less then six months from the date of travel. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance.

Bring two passport-sized photos for visa.

Single entry visa fee: US$ 40. Double entry visa fee: US$ 80. Triple entry visa fee: US$ 120. Multiple entry visa fee: US$ 200.

All tourists must travel with a prepaid and preplanned itinerary through a Bhutanese tour operator. The tariff genrally covers all your expenses for accomodations, food (except drinks), tour guides, transportation and tour activities, whether trekking or staying in hotels.

The minimum tariff charged by the Bhutanese government for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:

High Season Tariff –  USD$ 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.

Low Season Tariff – USD$200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.

The minimum price includes:
• All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
• Accommodation
• All Meals
• All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
• All Internal Transport
• Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours

The rates given above are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.

Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:

Single individual: US$ 40 per night

Group of 2 persons: US$ 30 per person per night

Permits are required everywhere outside of Paro and Thimphu Valleys. Your tour operator wil get the permits for your trip. These must be shown at poilce checkpoints at major road junctions.

The official currency in Bhutan is the ngultrum, Nu. The Indian Rupee is usually accepted also, as the currency is equivalent in value to the ngultrum. Travelers can change money at the airport or at the banks and and larger hotels. Well known brands of travelers checks are usually accepted, but a !% fee is charged. Credit cards are accepted at some businesses. ATMs are not available for tourists.

The hotels and meals are included in the daily tariff and will be arranged in advance by your tour operator. There are a number of premium hotels around the country that will cost more than the daily tariff allows.

Telephones and E-mail
Bhutan's telephone system works well. The traveler can make local and international calls from one of the many STD/ISD facilities. The country code for Bhutan is 975. The city code for Thimphu is 02 and for Paro is 08. Mobile phones are in widespread use and sim cards can be purchased for compatible phones. Internet service is widely available.

Bhutan is 11 hours ahead of New York (6 hours ahead of GMT).

Voltage is 220 at 50 cycles AC. Electricity is widely available in the cities and towns.

International Flight Info

Druk Air

Paro-Delhi Delhi-Paro
Paro-Kolkata Kolkata-Paro
Paro-Bagdogra Bagdogra-Paro
Paro-Dhaka Dhaka-Paro
Paro-Bangkok Bangkok-Paro
Kathmandu-Paro Paro-Kathmandu
Paro-Singapore Singapore-Paro

Another company has started service to and from Paro to Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Bangkok, Kathmandu, and Yangon:

Domestic Flights


Paro Airport is located in a narrow valley at 2,235 meters (7,330 ft) above sea level, and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,900 meters (16,000 ft).

Train Stations - Railways near Bhutan
The only really practical train station is located near the town of Siliguri, WB, India. The station is called NJP or New Jalpaiguri. NJP is around 3 south of Darjeeling, around 4 hours south of Gangtok, around half hour from Bagdogra and around 4hrs from Phuentsholing. Trains run east towards Guwahati and further interior north east. Trains from Kolkata in the south take around 12hrs and usually there are overnight trains from or to go there. There are several trains though Varanasi or nearby station (Mughalserai) to Delhi, which take much longer. However due to stiff competition in the airfares, sometimes it is cheaper to travel by flight, than by train between Kolkata or Delhi to Bagdogra.



A visa is required to enter Nepal except for SAARC and Chinese nationals. SARC stands for South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation which represents Bangladesh, Bhutan, India. Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A visa can be obtained at a Royal Nepalese Embassy or consulate, or at the airport on arrival. Two copies of passport size photos are required for the visa.

Visa Fees are as follows:

Single Entry US$ 30 for 60 days
Multiple Entry US$ 80 for 50 days
Visa extension fee US$30 for 30 days
Re-entry Visa fee US$ 30 for 30 days

Children under 10 years of age are not required to pay a visa fee. A person who stays in Nepal for more than 15 days and wishes to re-enter within the same year (Jan-Dec), will get a free visa (NEW). Transit passengers will get a free visa for 72 hours (NEW).

© Yama Adventures, 2017.