Thimphu (Capital City)
Location: Western Bhutan
Distance from Paro: 65 km (2 hours)
Elevation: 2320m/ 7611ft above sea level
Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan with population of 120,0000 approximately. The city is the home to royal families and high level dignitaries as all important offices and businesses are setup here. The city is situated along the river Wangchhu and it is the highest populated among all the districts/provinces.
National Memorial Chorten
National Memorial Chorten is the important monument of the country as it was built in the memory of late 3rd King Jigme Dorji wangchuck by his Queen mother Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in the year 1974. He was also known as father of modern Bhutan to the people. Chorten or Stupa signifies the mind of Buddha himself. It is great place to see as one will be seeing the people circumambulating around the stupa mainly elderly people spending day practicing dhrama and meeting with old friends.
Buddha view point
The place where it used to be the premises of old fort known as Kuensel Phodrang t, now one can see giant Buddha’s statue built for the well being of all sentiments beings. It’s construction was initiated by his Enimence Trizin Tshering Rinpoche. Once after completion it will be one of the wonders in the world as world’s tallest sitting Buddha with its height 50.50m/169 ft tall. It is made of bronze, copper and gilded gold at the face . From there one can have wonderful view of Thimphu city.
This temple is located beautifully overlooking Thimphu valley. It was built during 15th century by the first son of Lam Phajo Drugom. This temple is popular for new born babies as all the new born babies of the valley are brought to this temple to get blessing and name from the priest of the temple.
Takin mini Enclosure
It is an enclosure where you will find one of a kind animal the very national animal of Bhutan the takin. Takin is one of the larger and stockier of the goat antelope. Plump bovine like body with dense, long yellow to brown hair with the life span of 12-15 years and weighting over 350 kilograms. There are other animals also in the enclosure like barking deers, Sambar deers and mountain goats.
BBS tower (view)
The place where the transmitter tower of the only national television in the country (BBS) is located. It is the perfect place from where one can have breathtaking view of the entire city of Thimphu. One can even chose to do hiking to the near by Wangditshe temple. On the way, one will be enjoying lovely view of the city which is an easy hike and it takes around 45minutes approx to reach to the temple. One can make a good use of camera to catch views.
Tango monastery is located to the north of Thimphu and it takes about 30 minutes to reach to the base of the monastery. From there further it takes around 45minutes uphill hike to reach to the monastery. Tango means horse head and is derived from the deity Tandin (Hayagriva). The monastery was built in 1680 AD. Now it is renowned Buddhist college and also the residence of the Druk Desi Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye reincarnate of the 4th Secular ruler during Zhabdrung’s regime who built the Monastery.
The Cheri Monastery is just nearby Tango Monastery. It was built in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and it is first place where first monk body was established. The trail to the monastery begins by crossing beautiful traditional cantilever bridge that spans the Wang Chhu (Thimphu river)
Thimphu dzong also known as Traschi Chho dzong (Palace of glorious religion) is located near the Wangchhu (Thimphu river). It was built in 1641.
It houses the secretariat, throne room, and offices of the king of Bhutan. The northern portion is the summer residence of the Je Khenpo and the Central Monastic Body.
School of 13 Arts and crafts
Zorig chusum in Bhutanese language mean “Thirteen Crafts” where mainly students are taught in arts and crafts like painting, wood carving, sculpture, embroidery etc. Not all are taught in the Institute. Only important ones, meeting as per market needs are taught. It was established in 1971 by the Royal Government in order to preserve the invaluable heritage and promote the arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Folk heritage museum
The museum will give you feel like you are in the past era of Bhutan like the Alice stepping in the other world. It displays replica of a traditional farm house as it would have been about a century ago. The items one can see inside the museum are from existing traditional farm houses.
Institute for Traditional medicine
In November 1967, the third Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck commanded the Health Department to establish traditional medicine system for the welfare of Bhutanese people and to preserve its rich culture and traditions. Accordingly Indigenous Hospital was opened on 28th June 1968.The main objective of the hospital is to promote and preserve traditional medicine system in the country. It provides alternative medicine as complementary to the allopathic medical system and to achieve excellence in traditional medicine services in Bhutan.
Traditional paper making factory
The art of making traditional paper has been from long time. In order to preserve art of making traditional paper, the Jungshi Paper Factory was established in November 1990 as an undertaking of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The paper is made from the bark of the Daphne plant and workers in the factory manually make paper and you can see nearby the factory there is a showroom where one can see a wide range of designs, paintings and gifts made out of it.