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Samdrup Jongkhar

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Best Time: March - May Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Paro International Airport Check Flights

"Home of Serenity "

Samdrup Jongkhar Tourism

Samdrup Jongkhar is a small town in South-Eastern Bhutan and is located at the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Its proximity to the Indian border with multiple Indian shopkeepers and hawkers setting up shops here makes it one of the largest urban centres of Bhutan.

Samdrup Jongkhar, a beautiful hill-station with elevations ranging from 200m to 3,500m, and is said to be the oldest town in Bhutan. An essential economic zone of Bhutan, the primary source of livelihood over here is coal mining. Since it's close to Assam, people from Assam come here for trading, and many of the shops found here are established by Indians.

The food here is an exquisite variety of Chinese, Bhutanese and Indian restaurants, along with charming little cafes in this quaint paradise. While the place is not very crowded with tourists, there are still some tourist destinations where you can enjoy and have a good time. Some of the must-visit locations are Mithun-Breeding Farm(a cattle-breeding farm), Zangtopelri Lhakhang(monastery), Hanumaan mandir NK Darranga(Hindu Temple), Dratshang(house of monks) and Dewathang(ancient battleground).

The climate is pleasant, and in summers, the area receives plenty of rainfall. Samdrup Jongkhar is the best place to purchase Indian made clothes and dry food items. For shopping, there's a Mella Bazar which is very famous among the locals and tourists. The Bazaar sells all kinds of daily livelihood stuff. Away from city lights, life is slow here, and you see the simplicity of living away from developed cities - simple and happy. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to experience peace at its finest.

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More on Samdrup Jongkhar

Third most populated town in Bhutan

Samdrup Jongkhar, although being underdeveloped and far from pollution, is the third most populated town in Bhutan, with a population of around 30,800. It is an essential economic and financial centre of the country and a prominent site of coal mining. It is referred to as "little sister" of Phuentsholing because both of the cities' architecture resemble with each other.

Language

Dzala, Chocangacakha and Kurtop are the majorly spoken languages.

History

Samdrup Jongkhar served as a major route to enter into Bhutan from India, used by the British to enter the country from Sikkim. Now, a major town in Southern Bhutan, the road from Samdrup connects south and east of the country, i.e, Trashigang which benefits the locals in trading across the Indian border.

Shopping

Mella Bazar near the border gate is an Indian market where you can buy Bhutanese and Indian Souvenirs and enjoy North-Eastern delicacies of India. The goods are cheaper here as compared to rest of Samdrup. You can get wooden crafts, clothes, fruits, dry fruits and some essential commodities in this market.

Language

Tshangla or Sharchopkha. Very few people speak English.

Nightlife

As it is a small village, the nightlife is not very happening. There are no clubs or pubs in the town, and it's preferred if you spend the night in a hotel only without expecting any significant activity on the streets.

Tips

If you want to shop, then do it from the Mella Bazar on the outskirts of the town since the goods are sold at much more reasonable price. Also, it's better if you learn a few common terms in the local language as English is not widely spoken.

Religions

The religion in the majority is Buddhism, like the rest of Bhutan. Sharchops (populations of mixed Tibetan, Southeast Asian and South Asian) dominate the town.

Restaurants and Local Food in Samdrup Jongkhar

There is a great deal of both Indian and Bhutanese cuisine. Hotel Sharma and Hotel Shambhala are good restaurants that serve Indian food. You will find Ema Datshi commonly served here. Pa is also a common Bhutanese dish abundantly found here. Pema Bakery serves bakery items like cakes, pastries etc. For drinks and beverages, Tashi Gasel Lodge is good place which serves decent drinks.
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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

The atmosphere is peaceful and serene and a good place to relax.

The scenery is beautiful, peaceful and quiet, away from chaos.

What's Not So Great?

Not many tourist sites, poor transportation, very few hotels.

No marketplace, very few choices in hotels, limited transportation within the city.

How To Reach Samdrup Jongkhar

Paro hosts the only international airport of Bhutan, from where one can hire a taxi to reach Samdrup Jongkhar, which is about an 11-hour journey. Bus services are available from Mongar, Trashigang and Phuentsholing, which can be reached by bus from the capital city, Thimphu.

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