Tourist Places Bhutan >>
In an open valley the capital
of Bhutan kingdom is a beautiful, clean, small town surrounded by high mountains
with the Thimphu Chu flowing to its E. The built up area extending for about
3km, is mostly of traditional houses and a population of 20,000. The core
area. Entering the town from Paro or Phuntsholing, the Nordzin Lam starts where
a petrol station is seen. W of the petarol station stands the National
meaning "fortress of the
glorious religion", this fortress was initially erected in the year of 1641 and
later in 1965 the Third King rebuilt it into the present form. The fortress
serves as the office of the King, ministers and various government organizations
and also headquarters for monastic body of Bhutan . Bhutan 's spiritual leader
and the monks of both Thimphu and Punakha reside here during summer. It is also
the venue for Thimphu Festival in the fall season.
The history of Bhutan lies
imprinted in archaic texts that are preserved at the National Library. Besides
thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic
books and printing blocks for prayer flags.
if you are in Thimphu during
weekends than you should not miss a visit to the weekend market. Vendors from
throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain selling their goods
until Sunday night. It's an interesting place to visit, where village people
bring their products of vegetables, foodstuffs and handicrafts to sell. At the
northern end of the market is a collection of stalls called the indigenous goods
and handicrafts section. Here you will find locally produced goods, including
religious objects, baskets, fabrics and different hats from various minority
A saint known as Shacha Rinchen built the
temple in 15th century and is located at an altitude of 12,138 feet, overlooking
the Thimphu Valley . Surrounding the temple are many retreat houses for the
people who come here and spent about 3 years in retreat. The hike is uphill
north of Thimphu through mixed conifer forest with great views of Thimphu valley
A typical border town; the
Indian side in West Bengal state is called Jaigaon. Most of the hotels,
restaurants, shops and offices are located in Phuntsholing, all at walking
distance from each other.
Most tourists entering Bhutan over land enter at the border town of
Phuentsholing, from the neighboring Indian town of Jaigaon. The change in the
degree of cleanliness and organization as you cross the border is incredibly
Places you can see are
Kharbandi Gompa, built in 1967 by the Royal Grandmother, the monastery
contains paintings on the life of Buddha and statues of Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal
and Guru Rinpochey. The view from the monastery garden towards the Phuntsholing
and surrounding Indian plains are superb.
Zangdo Pelri Temple
This holy place is located in
the center of Phuntsholing town, represents the abode of Guru Rinpochey. On the
ground level there are statues of Guru and his eight Manifestations. And the
wall is covered with paintings of Buddha's life. On the second floor it contains
of eight Bodhisattavas and statues of Avalokiteshwara and Shubdrung Nawang
Namgyal while on the top floor the main statue is of Buddha Amitabha.
Small village with with a
bazaar, hotel and a restaurant. Paro Dzong and Ta Dzong, which also houses the
National Museum, are two places of interest. Ta Dzong was built in 1651 as
a watch tower. A six-storey structure, it has a number of objects of religious
and cultural interest, along with a collection of thankas. Situated at an
average elevation of 8000 feet high from sea level, home to many of Bhutan 's
oldest temples and monasteries, Paro valley has managed to keep its bucolic
nature in spite of the Bhutan 's only airport and many development projects.
rows of shops line the main
road built in traditional architecture. This stretch of about 250 meters, with
farmers leading their horses, its occasional idlers leaning against the
storefronts, the town of Paro strangely resembles a village of the old American
Taktsang Temple (Tiger's Nest)
The trail to the monastery
climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish
moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop at the
cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue our hike for short while
until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang
monastery. Dedicated to Guru Padmasambhava, this incredible monastery clings to
the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below.
The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantrum mystic who brought
Buddhism to Bhutan , had taken the wrathful form of Guru Dorje Droloe to subdue
the evil and demon that were obstructing the spread of Buddhism in the
Located at an altitude of 4430
feet above sea level, Punakha had once served as the winter capital of Bhutan .
It is still being used as the winter home to Bhutan 's spiritual leader and the
monks of Thimphu and Paro. Blessed with temperate climate and fed by Pho Chu
(Male) and Mochu (female) rivers, it is the most fertile valley and best red
rice grower in the country. During a clear weather there are splendid view of
the distant Himalayan snowcapped peaks at Dochu La Pass on Thimphu - Punakha
road. Takes about two and half hours to reach from Thimphu.
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To the east of Tongsa lies
Bumthang valley, at the altitude of 2,600 meters. This valley is the religious
heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples.
Two sites that can be visited
from Thimphu by taxi and back on the same day. Punakha valley is blessed with a
temperate climate and produces a rich crop of rice and fruits. Pungthang Dechen
Phodrang " Palace of Great Happiness " popularly known as Punakha Dzong was
built in 1637 by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal after Simtokha Dzong and is located
strategically between the confluence of Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers Damaged by
four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by
the present King.
Punakha served as the capital
of the country until second king who moved the capital to Bumthang as summer and
Trongsa as the winter. It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan 's first king
was crowned. It is also the venue for Punakha Festival held in February or
Mongar to Tashigang is about
100km. The road crosses Kori La (2450m), descends to a bridge over the Sheri
river (750m) and passing through an open valley arrives at Tashigang. This is a
big town with a mid climate and easy-going cheerful people. It is also the
HQ of a few international development projects, and many Western faces can be
seen among the most ancient people of the high Himalaya. Standing on a
hill spur, Tashigang Dzong was built in 1659 and has many temples.
Located at same elevation as Punakha, it's
about 30 minutes of drive from Punakha. It is the last town of western Bhutan
before you enter into the central part of Bhutan . Known for fine bamboo work
and its slate stone carvings.
Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal in 1638 had built this
massive fortress sitting on a hilltop at the confluence of Punakha Chu and Tang
Chu Rivers . Wangdi festival is celebrated here in the fall.
A small clustered village facing the Wangdi
Dzong is known for its skill in traditional method of stone masonry. It is about
20 minutes hike uphill with great view of the Dzong, valley and the river.
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