Samtse – The Melting Point of Different Cultures
A sleepy dzongkhag that might appear to be a low lying one at your first sight, Samtse Dzongkhag gradually starts gaining height and reach around 3,800m above the sea level. Inhibited by a mix of ethnic groups, this picturesque valley in the Land of Thunder Dragons is known for its diverse cultures, different religious practices, lush greeneries, and unity in diversity.
On a visit to Samtse, you can witness how the primitive groups like Lhotshampas and Doyas dwells around the valley. You would surely be astounded to see how Buddhist monasteries coexists with Hindu temples, and how peace and brotherhood prevails in the entire valley. While the Buddhist here, celebrates ‘Losar’ with high spirit, the Hindus celebrates festivals like ‘Diwali’ and ‘Dussehra’ with equal joy and vigour.
Cossetted with dense and evergreen thickets, Samtse is also famed for its exotic range of natural flora and fauna. Elephants roaming freely within the forest areas or being involved in domestic tasks are quite common sighting in Samtse.
The dzongkhag is also famed as one of the most fertile regions in the Land of Thunder Dragons. Oranges, ginger, areca nuts, and cardamom are some of the most commonly found agricultural produce of this region. Adding to this, Samtse is also famed for Dolomite, Talc, and Quartzite production.
Best Time to Visit Samtse: Autumn (October to November) and Winter (December to February)
How to Reach Samtse
Samtse is located within a proximity to Haa Valley in Bhutan. If you want to reach Samtse by air, you can book air tickets from some of the selected Indian airports to Paro International Airport. After reaching Paro, you can take a drive along Haa Valley to reach Samtse by road.
The Indian airports offering flights (both direct and connecting) to Paro International Airport are:
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati (Assam)
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)
Since Bhutan doesn’t have any railway connectivity with any foreign countries, you won’t be able to reach Samtse directly by train. However, you can book your train tickets to some of the nearest Indian railway stations like New Jalpaiguri, New Alipurduar, Siliguri, and Hasimara.
From these stations, you can take a drive to Jaigaon town on the Indo-Bhutan border, and take another drive through the Phuentsholing town of Bhutan to reach Samtse.
Starting from Jaigaon town in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district, you can gain access to Bhutan through the town called Phuentsholing. From this town, you should drive another 81km (2 hours) through the Bhutanese terrains to reach Samtse by road.
Places to Visit in Samtse
Daina Suspension Bridge
Samtse Khorlo Chorten
Tendu Community Temple
Gomtu Industrial Estate
Things to Do in Samtse:
Water activities (swimming)