Places to Visit in Bhutan

Takshang Monastery proudly sits atop a 900 meter vertical cliff rising above the valley floor. It is probably the most well recognized monument in Bhutan. The people of Bhutan lovingly reffer to it as the Taj Mahal of Bhutan. This amazing feat of Human engineering is built over the site where the Guru Rimpoche is believed to have meditated after flying to Bhutan atop a flying Tigress. The present day monastery was first established in the year 1692 by Tenzin Rabgye. Legend has it that Tenzin was a reincarnation of the Guru Rimpoche. The Monastery can be reached after completing a 3 hour trek from the closest road head.

Drukgyel Dzhong was built in 1646 AD by the legendary Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans. The Tibetans had been raiding the region for centuries and had caused great misery to the people of the region . The Dzhong was destroyed by a fire in 1951 and has been abandoned ever since. On clear days one has a beautiful view of Mt Jhoomalhari and its surrounding peaks.

Rimpung and Ta Dzhong The Rimpung Dzhong along with its watch tower the Ta Dzhong was built in 1646. The Rimpung Dzhong plays host to the annual Paro Tsechu(Festival). The festival celebrations take place in the courtyard of the Dzhong. The Ta Dzhong is situated on ridge directly above the Rimpung Dzhong. In 1968, the Ta Dzhong was inaugurated as the National Museum of Bhutan and is home of Artifacts, Paintings, Weapons and other items significant to the History of Bhutan.

Punakha Dzhong was built 1637 AD to serve as the religious and political center of the region. The Dzhong is located at the confluence of the Pho Chu and the Mo Chu rivers. The Punakha Dzhong has been devastated by 4 catastrophic fires and an earthquake. Despite the destruction, the Dzhong has been repeatedly restored by the Kings of Bhutan. The Dzhong is open to visitors during the Punakha festival which is held annually in spring or early summer.

Chimel Lakhang is a small 16th century temple located at a 20 minute hike from the highway. The temple is dedicated to Drukpa Kinley also known as the Divine Madman by the Bhutanese. This is one of the most revered temples in all of Bhutan with tourists from all over the world flocking to this temple to receive the deities’ blessings. Childless couples seek the blessing of the Drukpa to help them conceive and the temple also known as the temple of fertility

The National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu was built by the third king His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who is also known as the ‘ Father of Modern Bhutan’. The monument is built in the hope for world peace and prosperity. Sadly the monument couldn’t be completed before his untimely death and was later completed gifted to the nation in July 1974. The beautifully designed wall paintings and statues are an excellent example of Bhutanese handicrafts.

Tashichodzhong is known as the ‘fortress of glorious religion’ the fortress was built in 1641 and was subsequently rebuilt by the third king and currently serves as the seat of the Royal Bhutanese Government. It is also the summer residence of the central monastic body. The Dzhong is open to visitors during the Thimphu festival.

Phobjikha Valley and Gangtey Goempa. Situated in the mountains on the east of Wangduephodrang is the beautiful Phobjikha Valley on whose slope is the great monastery of Gangtey. The monastery was established in the 17th century AD. The valley is the winter home of the rare black necked Tibetan cranes that migrate to the valley every year from Tibet.

Dochu-la Pass is located about 30 kilometers away from the capital city of Thimphu and is located 3150 meters above sea level. On a clear day the pass offers a breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain range and of the valley below. There are the famous 108 stupas built adjacent to the path for the peace and prosperity of the people of Bhutan by the Queen Mother.

Kurje Lakhang is located in the sacred Bhutang valley and along with Taktshang it is one of the holiest places in Bhutan. Kurje Lakhang comprises of three temples with the one on the right built on the Rockface on which Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 8th century AD. the one in the center contains a rock with the Guru’s Body print. and is considered the holiest of the 3. The Third temple was constructed in the 1990′s by the Queen Mother

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