India-Bhutan border to open almost after 2.5 years


After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the India-Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam border will reopen to tourists on September 23.

Bhutan’s government has officially announced that the international border with India will reopen on September 23rd, following the resolution of the Covid cases. “We are preparing to open the border and provide a pleasant experience for visitors,” said Tashi Penjore, Director (law and order) of the Himalayan kingdom’s Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

“Over the last two-and-half years, many officials on both sides have changed and we were not able to meet and establish friendship and person-to-person contacts which are essential for people residing along the border areas of the two countries. We look forward to more such visits,” he added.

Earlier that day, the Bhutanese official met with the Commandant of the 15th Battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and in-charge of Regional Headquarters Neeraj Chand, as well as all SSB officials, to discuss the matter. The meeting was held at the SSB regional headquarters in Chaprakata, Assam’s Bongaigaon district.

He also encouraged Indian tourists to visit various locations in Bhutan after entering through the Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar gates. Bhutan’s government has planned eco-tourism, bird-watching, and other visitor packages. Penjore stated that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been developed to ensure the smooth movement of travellers.