Peak Climbing


The modern capital of Bhutan lies at an elevation of 2300m in a valley traversed by the Wang Chu (river). Tashichho dzong the main Secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty and a summer residence of the central monk body. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is a fitting and lively place. Home to civil servants, expatriates and the monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. It is also an ideal spot for day walks. Phajoding monastery is a 4 hrs hike from the motithang area. Tango & Cheri monasteries are also another ¾ hrs hike from the capital or all the way to the top of telegraph hill where thousands of prayer flags obscure the view over Thimphu.

Memorial Chorten: this stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of the late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The paintings and images inside the monument provide a rare sight into Buddhist philosophy.

Tashichho Dzong: was initially built in the 17th century, was rebuilt in early 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Tashichho Dzong houses the main Secretariat building and the central monk body. It is open to visitors during Thimphu festival and when the monk body moves to their winter home in Punakha.

Changangkha temple: built in the 15th century by lama Phajo Drigom lies on a hill top commanding the Thimphu valley. The temple has very old scriptures and Thankhas. The main deity of the temple is Avalokiteshvara, God of compassion.

Simtokha Dzong: the oldest dzong in the country stands on a lofty ridge at the end of valley. It was built in 1627 – 1629 and now houses the school for Buddhist studies. All the Bhutanese language teachers pass out from this university.

Indigenous hospital: Since Bhutan has its own brand of Himalayan medicine the Government has given equal emphasis to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicine is prepared here. The old art healing like acupuncture is still practiced.

National Library: the history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts which 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.

Painting school: where young children learn the ancient art of paintings. One can actually see students at work. Education is free for the students since the government wants to attract more students. These children after passing out they are distributed to different districts to apply the same art of traditional paintings in these areas which is one reason that the Bhutanese houses have almost the same type of colour & design.

Vegetable market: Every Saturday & Sunday most of the Thimphu’s population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. This is the only time in the week when fresh vegetables are available and Saturday mornings are a hive of activity.

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