Pemagatshel – The ‘Lotus Garden of Happiness’ in Bhutan
Pemagatshel or the ‘Lotus Garden of Happiness’ is one of the most scenic and naturally rich districts in Bhutan. Located towards the south-eastern corner of the Last Himalayan Kingdom, this region is enchanted by the alluring charm of verdant coniferous forests and broadleaf species.
A natural home to traditional art and crafts, Pemagatshel; previously called ‘Pemagatsel’, is perched on a breath-taking mountain that resembles the shape of a dagger. This is the region in Bhutan that is revered for crafting the traditional ‘Jalings’ (a musical instrument that looks like an oboe) and ‘Dhungs’ (long trumpets used during rituals).
Craftsmen from Pemagatshel are renowned for the production of Bhutanese traditional attire called ‘Kiras’ and the finest quality ‘Bura’ silk. In addition to the indigenous art and culture, Lungsermo is also famous for its sweet delicacy known as ‘Tsatsi Buram’. Locals in this region are also inclined towards folk music. On a visit to Lungsermo, you can witness the local singing their folk song called ‘Ausa’ while wishing adieu to their family members, friends, or relatives.
Best Time to Visit Pemagatshel: Spring (March to May) and Autumn (August to October)
How to Reach Pemagatshel
If you want to reach Pemagatshel by air, you should book your flight tickets to Paro International Airport, which is also the only international airport in Bhutan. And to select your destination of flying, you can select among Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, Bodhgaya Airport in Gaya (Bihar), Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri (West Bengal), and Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati (Assam). These are the only Indian airports that have both direct and connecting flights to Bhutan.
Upon arrival in Paro, you can take the help of local transportation options to reach Pemagatshel by road; the distance would be around 597km.
Since there are no direct trains to Bhutan, you can book train rides from across India to some of the closest railway stations to Bhutan, and finally reach Pemagatshel by road. New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, New Alipurduar, and Hasimara are the nearest railway stations to Bhutan. From these railway stations, you should drive to Jaigaon town that shares its border with Bhutan’s Phuentsholing town. Once you enter Bhutan, you can continue driving through NH-27 to reach Samdrup Jongkhar. Upon arrival in Samdrup Jongkhar, you should drive another 26km to reach Pemagatshel.
If you are planning to reach Pemagatshel by road, you should follow the Guwahati-Samdrup Jongkhar route via NH-27. Starting from Guwahati, you should drive almost 103km (or 2.5 hours) to reach Samdrup Jongkhar. As you arrive in Samdrup Jongkhar, you can hire local taxis or take the local buses to cover another 26km to reach Pemagatshel by road.
Places to Visit in Pema Gatshel
Royal Manas National Park
Thrumshingla National Park
Royal Manas National Park
Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
Things to Do in Pema Gatshel
Wildlife tours and spotting
Attend Pemagatshel Tsechu
Trekking and hiking