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5 Top Places to Visit in Thimphu

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We started for Thimphu early in the morning from Paro after finishing our breakfast. Paro to Thimphu is roughly 51 km which will take 1.5 hours through the cab. A perfect well maintained two-lane expressway connects this Himalayan mountainous stretch. We had a plan to complete our Thimphu Sightseeing partially.

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Leaving the town, our car drove us through some lesser known trails of the Himalayas where we witnessed the tropical jungles, mighty scenery of landscapes, beautiful waterfalls, small villages, passes, rivers, lakes and a few temples and monasteries. On the other hand, drivers in Bhutan were so well-mannered that they would comfort you with a relaxing journey. There were plenty of shops in the middle of the journey to getting snacks and stretching legs. Thus, our overall journey proved worthy and spicy.

Thimphu Sightseeing

We reached Thimphu at around 11.30 am. Thimphu is the capital and largest town of the kingdom of Bhutan. It is settled within the western central a part of Bhutan. The earliest capital town of Punakha was replaced by Thimphu in 1961. Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Thimphu is the fourth highest capital in the world by an altitude of 2,648 meters (8,688 feet). Thimphu contains most of the necessary political buildings in Bhutan, including the National Assembly and Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King, located to the north of the city. Tshechu is a crucial festival when mask dances, popularly known as Cham dances, are performed in the yards of the Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu. It is a four-day festival held every year in September or October, of Bhutanese calendar.

Indian citizens traveling to Bhutan would need Entry Permit and this Permit allows them to travel to Paro and Thimphu only. For covering other places (in our case, it is Punakha), they will need another Permit (in addition to the first one) and this Permit would be available from Immigration Office at Thimphu. If you want to visit Punakha, East Bhutan, Haa, Wangdi, Trongsa or Eastern Bhutan then pursue a Special Route Permit by filling in a form again at Norzim Lam, Thimphu. Once this can be done, permits will take less than half an hour to be issued.

I also read that there is a Weekend Handicrafts Market in Thimphu which closes at 4 pm; hence we tried to reach early. After getting Punakha permit around 1 pm we went to Restaurant Chula to have our lunch. Details about Restaurant Chula is given below-

CHULA RESTAURANT THIMPHU

Thimpu Handicraft Market

Then we went to the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar also known as the handicraft market of Thimphu is a perfect place to get a glimpse inside the art and craft of Bhutan. As you’ll enter the place, the ever-smiling Bhutanese people will welcome you, who are mostly youngsters. The shops are made using the eco-friendly bamboo, and you will definitely get enthralled with the vivacious colors on display. While walking through the market one can simply not ignore the display of pictures, images, royal clothes or batches of king and queen of Bhutan in almost every shop, which clearly denotes the respect that individuals have for his or her king. There are few miniatures of symbolic statues including the Buddha, which can be bought from here apart from locally produced purses and other fabrics. Most of the brands we saw found in India, China made and overpriced.

SAARC Building

Then we went to the SAARC Building, Thimphu. Proudly housing the national assembly, SAARC Building in Thimphu was built in the 1990s to hold SAARC conferences and meetings. An architectural wonder, the building is colorful and vivacious. Since it’s a very important government site, entry is not allowed due to security reasons. But the building is a smart read from outside. Roaming there for a few minutes we went to our pre-booked hotel Chopel Norkey. For details about Hotel, Chopel Norkey click below mentioned link-

HOTEL CHOEPHEL NORKYI THIMPHU

Next day after breakfast we started a little late for our Thimphu Sightseeing tour. First, we went to

Buddha Drodenma

Atop a hill in Thimphu, the capital and largest city of Bhutan, is a huge, golden Buddha sitting atop a golden meditation hall. The statue also fulfills two predictions. The first, foretold by Yogi Sonam Sangpo, is that a Buddhist statue would be built in the region to “bestow blessings, peace, and happiness to the whole world.” In addition, the sculpture is claimed to own been mentioned by Guru Padmasambhava, widely referred to as the “second Buddha,” in the eighth century.

The sculpture was created celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck whereas fulfilling 2 ancient prophecies from the eighth and twelfth century that declared that a giant Buddha sculpture would be inbuilt the region to bless the planet with peace and happiness. While tourist looks at the statue the locals often come for the other view, the view of the valley of Thimphu parking their cars along the roadside bringing snacks and drinks. The two views of Thimphu create a strange harmony of man-made and natural wonders that mesmerize.

A short trip to “Buddha point” because the locals have dubbed its one thing that everybody within the area should strive because it very may be distinctive expertise. An experience only boosted by some momos, hot tea and the clean crisp air that only Bhutan has.

National Memorial Chorten

This large Tibetan-style chorten is one among the foremost visible spiritual structures in Thimphu, and for several Bhutanese, it’s the main focus of their daily worship. It was in-built 1974 as a memorial to the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–72). Early morning is especially serene as elderly people hobble in, and spruced-up kids on their way to school humming in and out to pay homage.

The whitewashed chorten is decorated with richly painted annexes facing the basic directions and features rich statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular king. Throughout the day folks walk around the chorten, whirl the large red prayer wheels and pray at a small shrine inside the gate. Particularly charming is the dedicated group of old-timers moving away at room-size giant prayer wheels beside the main entrance.

Tashichho Dzong

One of the prevalent and biggest landmarks in Thimphu, the Tashichho Dzong stands tall two kilometers away from the main town. It is the most secretariat building that houses the offices of the King and therefore the Throne room. The central monastic body and a few government ministries also are situated within the dzong. It is the summer residence of the monk body, the winter being in Punakha Dzong.

Located at the banks of the Wangchhu River the massive fortress was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and rebuilt in its present form in 1965 by the Third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

In 1216 Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa engineered this Dzong. A few years later Phajo Drukgom Zhigpo, the one who brought Drukpa Kagyu lineage to Bhutan took over the dzong. In 1641 Zhabdrung acquired the dzong and renamed it Tashichho Dzong, the fortress of the magnificent religion. The dzong has a beautiful rose garden.

Also read PARO SIGHTSEEING

DOCHU LA PASS-ENCHANTING MOUNTAIN PASS OF BHUTAN

For more visit THIMPU TOURISM

Last updated on 08.01.21

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