top things to do in Thimphu

Tashichho Dzong

Dzong or the fortress was initially used to guard against the external invasions and threats. Trashichho Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1641. In 1897, the Dzong was damaged by an earthquake and was renovated in 1902. In 1952, capital of Bhutan was shifted from Punakha to Thimphu by the second king. It has been the seat of the government since then. Presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. It also houses the Je Khenpo and Central Monk Body’s residence.

Tashichho dzong
A beautiful view of Tashichho Dzong and paddy field nearby

Dungtsho (via Phajodjing)

It takes 3 days for a round trip. Dungtsho is 4 hours walk from Phajoding. On the first day, one can start from Motithang (Thimphu), and halt a night at Phajoding. On the second day, one can proceed walking towards the lake and return to Phajoding OR halt the night in the camp at the lake site. On the third day, you can directly reach Thimphu from the Lake Site or Phajoding.

A view of Dungtsho (Lake)

Memorial chorten

The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in the memory of Third Druk Gyalpo. The place is surrounded by people all the time and there are regular elderly Bhutanese who circumambulate the Chorten. For a visitor, Morning time is a great. You are expected to see young and old, passerby and residents and people lighting a butter lamps or chanting prayers.

Memorial chorten
clear view of memorial chorten and people visiting it

Dochula pass

 located at an elevation of 3,100 metres, Dochula pass is a mountain pass on the road from Thimphu to Punakha. There are 108 memorial chorten or stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” and a monastery called the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple). there is a spacious ground for parking vehicles so that you can view the scenic view of the Himalayas. There is also a small and cozy restaurant nearby. Today, Dochula Pass is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan.

Dochula pass
a view of Dochula pass and the 108 stupas

Simtokha dzong

 Simtokha Dzong was the first Dzong  built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Today it acts as a monastic and administrative centre and also houses one of the Dzongkha language learning institutes in the country.The monument is three storied one, having  countless statues and paintings of deities and religious figures including Guru Rimpoche, Jampelyang the Bodhisattava of Wisdom, Shakya Gyalpo the Buddha of Compassion and many more.

Simtokha Dzong
Simtokha Dzong as seen from a distant

Motithang Takin preserve

Motithang Takin Preserve, located in Motithang, Thimphu is a wildlife reserve area for takin,the national animal of Bhutan. The best time to see them close is in the morning where the animals gather near the fencing and are fed. Takins were once put inside the zoo but the later was set free upon the King’s decision. However, the animals didn’t wander off. Now, the takin lives in 8.4 acres of carefully managed forest where the health and environment of the takin is been taken care.

Motithang Takin preserve
a grazing Takin seen in the preserve

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