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National Memorial Chorten, ThimphuThimphu, the capital city of Bhutan is the largest and most populated city in Bhutan. It is located at an alleviation of 2320 meters and is the center of the Royal Government of Bhutan. It is the only capital after Pyongyang in North Korea without a traffic light.

Places of interest:

  • Tashichho Dzong or the Fortress of Glorious Religion which was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal underwentmajor re-construction in 1968 after a fire accident. At present, it houses the throne room of the King of Bhutan and is the summer residence of the monk body. It also houses other government agencies.
  • The Handicrafts Emporiumdisplays a wide array of authentic Bhutanese products brought in from all over the country.
  • The National Memorial Chorten, as the name suggests, was built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan. It is located near the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National referral hospital and draws in huge crowds.
  • Simtokha Dzongwas built in 1627 making it the oldest Dzong in Bhutan. According to legend, the dzong was built on the location where a demoness was subdued. Today, besides the numerous monasteries inside it, it houses the School for Buddhist Studies.
  • The National Library in Kawajangsa, built in 1967, is the oldest and largest library in Bhutan. Besides a large collection of religious books and manuscripts in Dzongkha and Tibetan, it has a huge collection of international publications which includes largest published book in the world.
  • The Buddha Dordenma statue, the largest Buddha statue in the world, is currently in the last phase of its construction and upon its completion will house several retreat rooms housed under the statue.One can enjoy a bird-eye view of Thimphu city from top of the Kuensel Phodrang Mountain where the statue is located.
  • The National Post Office is located in the middle of the city and displays a huge collection of the famous Bhutanese stamps. One can make a quick stop to buy stamps or to change money at the adjoining the Bhutan National Bank.
  • The National Folk Heritage Museum located in Kawajangsa houses many artifacts significant to the Bhutanese way of life and tries to showcase the ancient Bhutanese ways through these artifacts, dances and other exhibits.
  • Dochula Druk Wangyel Chortenconsisting of 108 stupas is located in Dochula, one of the highest road pass in the country. It was built by Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck in celebration to the victory of the Bhutanese army over the Indian insurgents in 2003.
  • The National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Traditional Arts and Crafts) is one of the oldest institution that teaches 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. The institute is open to tourists who can witness students trying their hand on the different arts and crafts. The institute also displays and sells the work or crafts of the students.
  • Takin Reserve, located on Sangaygang hill, is perhaps the closest thing to a zooin Bhutan and houses the National Animal of Bhutan, Takin (budorcas taxicolor) and few other deers. Takin are friendly animal, and one is allowed to feed and touch the animal.A little further is Bhutan Broadcasting Service’sRadio tower located on a hill that offers a splendid view of Thimphu.
  • Centenary Farmers Market is a busy vegetable market located next to the national stadium. With vegetables coming in from all over the country and from the neighboring towns in India, it caters to whole of Thimphu populace.
  • Changangkha Monastery, the oldest monastery in Thimphu, is located on a hill in Changangkha. It was built in the 12th century by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo
  • Tango and Cheri monastery – Cheri Monastery was built in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was the first of the many monasteries built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in Bhutan.The monastery is located on a hill opposite to Tango Monastery which was built by Lama Gyalwa Lhanagnpa in the 13th century. The two Monasteries are located at a distance of around 12km drive from Thimphu and requires a short hike of 45 minutes on either direction.
  • Zilukha Nunnery in Zilukha region of Thimphu is the largest nunnery in the country and is frequented daily by worshippers who make offerings while the nuns recite their daily prayers.
  • The Clock Tower Square, a shortish and simple clock tower landmark, due to its location acts as a centre point in the city. Today, numerous open air event are held here.
  • Lingshi yugyal Dzong located at an altitude of 4003m is one of the remotest Dzong built by Chogyal Minjor Tempa, the third druk desi in 1668. It was built in celebration to the victory over tibetan invasion of 1667. The route to the dzong is cut off during the winters. One can get a glimpse of the rare blue sheep in this area.