the frontier town of Bhutan
Phuentsholing is a border town to the north of the plains of the Duars area of West Bengal. Situated at the foot hills of the Himalayas, it serves as the main trading corridor to West Bengal and the rest of the states of India. Phuentsholing can be reached by road from Sikkim, Darjeeling and Siliguri. The nearest airport is Bagdogra(168kms), you can fly from any of the major cities of India to Bagdogra and drive to Phuentsholing, from here it takes about 5-6hrs either to Paro or to Thimphu. As it serves as a port of entry to tourists, it has only a very few places to see around. Places you can see are Kharbandi Gompa(Rinchending) built by the Royal Grandmother in 1967 as her winter residence, the temple contains of the paintings of the life of the Buddha and the statues of Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal and Guru Rimpoche. From the temple the view of Phuentsholing town and the plains below is excellent. Zangtopelri temple situated at the centre of the town is another place that might interest you. The ground floor has the statue of Guru Rimpoche and his eight manifestation, the second floor contains the eight Bodhisattavas and the statues of Avalokiteshwara and Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal and the top floor contains the main statue of Buddha Amitabha. The latest addition Palden Tashi Choling Tsu Lakhang, a shedra(monastic school) with fine murals and a nice setting is worth a visit.
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