Places Of Interest | Travel to Bhutan

Places of Interest


Thimphu, the permanent capital of Bhutan since 1955 is the center of government, religion and commerce . The town lies in the broad,fertile valley of the wang chu river at an altitude of 7600 feet. The harmonious mix ofmodern development with ancient traditions make it a unique town.thimphu has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade and a half .and today it is home to government civil servants,expatriates and the monk body. It also maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.

Among weeping willows and terraces of rice paddies on the banks of wang chu,stands the tashichhodzong,the throne room of his majesty the kingof Bhutan,government ministries,the nation’s largest monastery and head quarters of his holiness the je khenpo(head of the monastic body) and the monk body.the national assembly hall is located in a new building across the to the dzong is bhutan’s only golf course.

Other places of interest in thimphu are bhutan’s national library,national textile museum,folk heritage museum,institute of zorig chosum,national memorial chorten,simtokha dzong,changangkha lhakhang,the national institute of traditional medicine and zangtopelri.


Phuntsholing, the small modern town in the south is the gateway to Bhutan.It is a thriving commercial center on the northern edge of the Indian plains.Situated directly at the foothills and sharing the boder with India, phuntsholing serves as the convinent entry/exist point for Bhutan and also is an important link to visit the Indian state of west Bengal,sikkim and assam.

Around phuntsholing :

Kharbandi gompa:

Kharbandi gompa/monastery situated at an altitute of 1300 feet was founded in 1967 by royal grandmother, ashi phuntsho choedron.surrounded by tropical plants and flowers the monastery contains paintings on the llife of Buddha and statues of shabdrung ngawang namgyal and guru rinpochhe.

Zangtho pelri

Zangtho pelri is a small temple built in the center of p/ling town. This temple mainly depicts the heaven of guru rinpochhe. Statues of the eight manifestations of guru rinpochhe and paintings on buddha’s life are depicted on the ground floor of the temple. On the first floor there are statues of avalokiteshwara, eight bodhisttavas and shabdrung ngawang namgyal , the founder of Bhutan. On the top floor the main statue is of amitabha.


Paro, the most beautiful of all bhutan’s valleys is a living cultural center which encapsulates within itself rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. Paro valley is home to many sacred monasteries ,temples,national museum and the country’s only airport . mount jhomolhari reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial waters plunge through deep gorges to form the pachu (paro river)

Around paro

Ringpung dzong(paro dzong):

Rinpung dzong has a long fascinating history . guru padma sambhava at the beginning of tenth century built a small monastery on the site and later in 1646 shabdrung ngawang namgyal built a larger monastery on the old foundations. Also meaning heap of jewels , the approach to rinpung dzong is through a traditional bridge called the nemi zampa. A good view of the architectural wonder of the dzong can be seen while crossing the bridge .The four day spring tsechu of mask dances and folk entertainment is also held in the dzong .

Drukgyel dzong

Drukgyel dzong now in ruins was built by shabdrung ngawang namgayl to commemorate an early military victory ,the dzong’s name means ,indeed, “victorious druk ” The glory of drukgyel dzong still remains even when it was destroyed by fire in 1951. from the village below the drukgyel dzong at the northern end of the valley one can see the commanding view of jhomolhari peak.

Ta Dzong.

Since 1967,ta dzong ,the ancient watch tower has been the national museum of Bhutan and has fascinating collections of art , relics,religious thangka paintings and bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.located just above the rinpung dzong ,ta dzong is round in shape unlike ,most of the dzongs which are rectangular in shape and looks more like an European castle .

Kyichu lakhang

Kyichu lakhang one of the old est and most sacred lakhngs of the country(the other one being the jambey lakhang in bumthang) dates back to seventh century. The central temple was built by the Tibetan king songtsen gampo and a golden roof added to the monastery. A new lakhang of the same style was later built by the queen mother ashi kasang chodron.

Kila goemba

It is serene home of Buddhist nuns who have dedicated their life for spiritual fulfillment and leading undisturbed life of religious studies,prayers and meditation.the goemba is nestled in a craggy patch on the mountain siedf below the chele la pass perchedprecariously along the rock face. From chele la pass ,the lakhang is about a n hour walk admist magnificent wooded area.

Druk choeding

Built in 1525,this town temple was built by ngawang chhogyel,one of the prince-abbots of ralung in Tibet and an ancestor of shabdrung ngawang namgyal.

Taktshang monastery

Taktshang monastery clings to a sheer 3000 foot rock face.taktsang literally mean s tigers nest, an allusion to the popular legend that padma sambhava flew here from Tibet On the back of a tiger.built in harmony with natural features of its site ,this 300 year old retreat is ,in name as well as by virtue of its lofty elevation”the temple of heaven”


Two hours drive from the capital city of Bhutan , punakha is one of the most fertile valleys in Bhutan ,abundant with crops and vast terraces of rice fields.punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still the winter seat of jekhenpo(chief abbot) .there are splendid view of the distant Himalayas at dochula pass(alt 3,100) on thimphu-punakha road.

Around Punakha

Punakha dzong

Punakha dzong ,the ancient capital of Bhutan ,is set on a spit of land just above the junction where the rivers pho chu and mo chu meet. Built by shabdrung ngawang namgyal in the year 1637,this sacred dzong has played many imporatnat part in thecountry’s life , both in civil and religion. the punakha dzong suffered the devastation brought by floods and by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake,the dzong has been fully restored by the fourth king, jigme singye wangchuk. the dzong is open to visitors during punakha festival and in summer months when the monk body moves to thimphu.


The valley of wangdiphodrang lies on the east-west traverse road beyond thimphu. Wangdiphodrang is like an enlarged village with few well provided shops.located towards the south of punakha ,the higher reaches of the wangdiphodrang valley provides rich cattle pastures.this district is also famouse fro its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving.

Aroung wangdiphodrang,

Wangdiphodrang dzong

At the confluence of the pho chu and mochu stands the wangdiphodrang dzong,for many centuries the seat of the one of the most powerful dzongpons.teh wangdiphodrang dzong is the towns most visible attraction. The dzong is open for visitors during wangdiphodrang tshechu,celebrated in autumn.

Gangtey goenpa

Towards the east of wangdiphodrang ,gangtey goenpa provides one of the most attractions in dates back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the gompa,on the valley floor is the village of phobjikha. This is the winter home of the black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate.


Trongsa is the central hub of the nation and is historically the place from where attempts at unifying the country were made.teh landscape around trongsa is spectacular and for miles on end ,the dzong seems to tease you,wondering if you will ever reach there.

Around trongsa

Trongsa dzong

Midway between ha in the far west and tashigang in the far east stands the striking trongsa dzong,the ancestral home of bhutan’s royal family.built by shabdrung ngawang namgyal in 1648 and later enlarged and decorated, both the firstking and his successor the second king ruled the country from this ancient seat.all four king held the post of trongsa penlop(honorary governor) prior to being crowned as king.among the dzongs treasures is a magnificent collection of rhino horn sculptures.

Ta dzong

This watch tower which once guarded trongsa dzong from internal rebellion,stands impressively and provides visitors an insight into historical significance of trongsa in Bhutan’s history. Chendebji chorten This chorten patterned on swayambhunath temple in kathmandu was built in the 19th century by lama shida,from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was killed at this spot.


To the east of trongsa lies the religious heartland of the nation , bumthang.bumthang is the general name given to the complex of four valleys-chumey,choekhor,tang and in this fascinating valley tales of padmasambhava dominate inmost nook anf corners ,that have now become sacred.

Around bumthang

Jambey lakhang

This monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built by songtsen gembo who was believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion. Built in 7th century , it maninly built by songtsen gampo to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.

Jakar dzong

In the wide valley of bumthang lies the jakar dzong.founded by great grand father of shabdrung, the dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. after the sahbdrung had firmly established his power in 1646 the jakar dzong was up graded. The dzong is now used as administrative center for bumthang valley.


Membertsho also known as the burning lake is one of the great pilgrimage site of Bhutan ,where pema lingpa the great buddhist teacher found the treasures hidden by guru rinpochhe and thus became a “discoverer of religious treasures.”extensive arry of prayer flags and small clay offerings surround the holy lake.

Kurje lhakhang

Located above jambey lhakhang,kurje lakhang consists of three temples. The lakhang on the right was built on a rock face in 1652 where once guru rinpochhe meditated .the second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of guru’s body and is therefore considered the most holy.the third lakhang was recently built by the queen mother.these three temples are surrounded by 108 chorten wall,symbolic of each joint of the human body

Tamshing lhakhang

Tamshing lakhang has very interesting religious paintings like 1000 buddhas and 21 taras(female form of buddhistava).the temple founded by terton pema lingpa in 1501 is located opposite the kurje lakhang on the other side of the river.