Thimphu: The Capital city of Bhutan at an altitude range of 2248 to 2648 meters is the most populous city with approximate 118,505 people living. The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu with traditional & modern amenities exposure seen around. Some of the places of interest are:
- Tashichhodzong: The fortress of the glorious Religion, one of the architecturally rich structure built in 1964 holds government’s administrative & religious center. It also houses throne room of His Majesty the King and His holiness Je-Khenpo, religious head of the country. Adjacent to the very Dzong is His Majesty’s Palace.
- Takin Preserve (Upper Motithang): Driving Five minutes uphill passing the Ministerial enclave reach the preserve. The preserve by its name houses the country’s National animal Takin along with other rescued or endangered species. Takin is chosen as Bhutan’s National animal on its association with rareness and religious history & mythology.
- Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten: Built in memory of late His Majesty the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk by Royal Grand Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuk holds a sacredness in the heart of Thimphu City. Its majestic standings near Thimphu Hospital has captured many aficionados. The beauty and the peace it embarks the passerby to take a round and make a pray along many others.
- Druk Wangyel Chorten & Lhakhang: The site is located at an altitude of 3116 meters 18 kilometers away from the town, on the way to Punakha district. Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was built in honor of His Majesty fourth King by Queen Mother Azhi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. Inside the Lhakhang you can witness the pictorial history of the Wangchuk dynasty.On the base of the Lhakhang stands the most exotic Druk Wangyel Chorten. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists this is ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of Himalayan mountain range during clear day. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
- Buddha Dordenma Statue: Much talked and visited Buddha Statue overlooking the southern approach Thimphu city is in the verge of its completion. Riding along its route shows you the entire Thimphu valley from north to south stretch. Upon completion, it will be one of the largest Buddha in the world, at a height of 169 feet. The statue alone is being built at a cost of US$47 million, by Aerosun Corporation of Nanjing, China, while the total cost of the Buddha Dordenma Project is well over US$100 million. The interior will accommodate 100,000 8-inch-tall and 25,000 12-inch-tall gilded Buddhas respectively.Under the eyes of the Buddha statue, the Kuenselphodrang nature park was formally opened as a recreational park in 2011. The park conserves 943.4 acres of forest area that surrounds the Buddha Statue.
- Tango & Charig Monastery: Tango is located at the distance of 14 kilometers to the north of the capital city Thimphu. The Monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa in the 13th century and built in its present three storied form by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler in 1688. The monks in the monastery orates Drukpa Kagyu traditions. Opposite to the Tango beholds the glorious Charig Monastery built by Zhabdrung Nggawang Namgyel, a major teaching and retreat center of the Drukpa Kagyu order. It is built in year 1920. The two monasteries as it stand on the ridge top, it takes an hour walk through trails. The beauty and bountiful serenity it showers leave no visitors discontented.
- National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Government supported institute for the Bhutan’s thirteen Traditional Arts & Crafts provides a comprehensive six year course for every Bhutanese & Interested foreigners. On a visit one can see students engaged in paintings, statue making, wood carving and embroidery. Visitors are allowed during the class hour and the show room fixed within the compound. The timing starts from morning 9AM to evening 5 O’clock.
- The National Library: Within the pool of Thimphu City the National Library capture interest of many writers, enthusiast readers, visitors and academicians. The library holds numerous collection of Buddhist texts, manuscripts and modern books. There are also many other book stores in the City. More significantly the library has a World Largest book titled “BHUTAN” measuring 7 by 5 foot, 133 pound. Michael Hawley giant book’s pages are turned one page in a month. The book’s floods of color fill your entire field of vision and portraits are almost human size.
These are few of the prominent sites with many other fascinating places of interest waiting for your visit.