The capital city of the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan amazes the tourists with its location amongst the stunning scenario of Himalayan hills and with a river crossing through the town like a silver ribbon. This 2320 m altitude town is one of the two towns in Asia with no traffic lights. Apart from scenic beauty, the dzongs and other examples of architectural and historical importance are major tourist places in Thimphu and drag lots of tourist towards it.
The dzong that you see now was built by Shabdrung Rinpoche during 18 th century to house government officials. This dzong suffered heavy damage from fire three time and earthquake once. In 1962, the building was totally renovated to accommodate the central monastic body and national government.
Changangkha Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Thimphu valley and entire Bhutan. It was built during 12 th century and is dedicated to Avalokiteshwara. The site for this temple was chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo.
Established during 1974 in the memory of third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, this is one of the most visible religious structures in the valley of Thimphu. This Tibetan style whitewashed and richly painted chorten with golden top is a focus for Buddhist people for their regular worship.
An exquisite place to learn Bhutan’s living national art of thagzo or weaving, this museum is a part of the Royal Textile Academy. Photography isn’t allowed but you can purchase items from museum shop. While the ground floor has speciality with royal ‘ghos’, upper floor is known for displaying major weaving techniques and style of local dress.
Commanding the entrance to Thimphu Valley, the 51 ft tall statue of Lord Buddha is one of the most amazing attractions for tourists. While the body of the statue contains more or less 125000 small Buddha statues, the three-storied base is house to a large chapel.
Dechen Phodrang has been a house to the state lobra or monastic school since 1971 and has provided eight-year course to more than 250 students. There is a large figure of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the upper floor and there are 12 th century paintings in main chapel which has been restored.
Collecting medicinal plants from the remote parts of Bhutan Himalayas, using them to make pills, medicinal teas, ointments and tablets in traditional way and distributing them in the regional health- care centres are done very systematically by this institute.
The name Simtokha came from combination of two words – simmo meaning demon and do meaning stone. It is said that the site guards a demon that vanished in the rocks. Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal during 1929, this monastery is a gateway to Dochu La Pass and eastern Bhutan.
Lama Drukpa Kunley, the ‘divine madman’, built the present building in 15 th century, although the original site of Tango was established during 12 th century. The main building of the gomba is three- storied and it serves as a university of Buddhist studies now.
Takin, an animal with body like a cow and face like a goat, is the national animal of Bhutan. The site is a large fenced enclosure which originally was founded as a zoo. It is worth making a visit here as this strange animal can be seen easily, grazing in the grounds.
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