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Thimphu


Thimphu is the capital and the largest city of Bhutan. The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity, and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom. It is the only capital city in the world that does not have traffic lights. It is the main center of Commerce, Religion and Government in the country. It is most modern city of Bhutan and has abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping center. It is one of the few cities of Bhutan having ATM facilities. It lies at an elevation of 2,350 m.

PLACES OF INTERESTS: 

BBS Tower: It offers panoramic view of Thimphu Town and is situated at an elevation of 2,685 m. The place is perfect to have view of whole Thimphu valley and is also an ideal place for photography. In order to reach the Point, one has to walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the Thimphu valley.

Folk Heritage Museum: It is a traditional house replicating a farmhouse giving an insight to the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children. The house design and many of the artifacts are also reminders of rural Bhutanese life. One should carry a torch (flashlight) as some of the rooms are quite dimly lit.

Handicraft Emporium: A wide range of hand woven textiles and other handicraft products are available for sale

Institute of Zorig Chusom: It is a Premier institute of traditional arts and crafts in Thimphu established with an objective of preserving “thirteen arts and crafts of Bhutan”. It is commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School. One of the 13 Arts is Tshem Zo which is the art of working with needles, threads and other necessary items to make clothes, boots, thangkas, and other items used for decorations and other household needs.

Jungshi Hand Made Paper Factory: It is located around 1 km from main city of Thimphu. The factory manufactures traditional Bhutanese paper using the bark of two trees - Daphne tree and Dhekap. Here we can observe the entire process of manufacturing of the traditional handmade paper. It was previously operated by the government. Now it is run by a private entrepreneur. This small factory produces watermark paper as well as cards, lampshades, envelopes, calendars and other items made from traditional Bhutanese paper.

Kuensel Phodrang: It is a gigantic Buddha Dordenma Statue located atop a hill in Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park. One can get good view of Thimphu Valley from here. The construction was completed on September 25th 2015 to celebrate their 60th anniversary of fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

Memorial Chorten: Also known as the Thimphu Chorten, it is situated in the center of Thimphu City. It is in a form of Stupa built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is built in Tibetan Style pattern on design of Classical Stupa. The Chhorten depicts images of wrathful deities with their female consorts. Every morning till night old people and young people circumambulate the Chhorten. It is popularly known as "the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan"

National Zoo: Popularly known as “Takin Reserve”, is one of the few places in Bhutan where we can see Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan and a unique combination of Goat and an Antelope.

Simply Bhutan: It was inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Tshering Pem Wangchuck. This is the first living museum in the country. It depicts ancient Bhutan and the Bhutanese ways of life in the ancient times. It has an altar, a photo studio, a Zhabdrung museum, a traditional Bhutanese kitchen, demonstration stalls of textiles and handmade products and cafe offering butter tea Suja, snacks and a souvenir shop.

Simtokha Dzong: It is also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang (Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras). It is said to be the oldest Dzong in Bhutan and was constructed in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is a small Dzong (only 60 meters square with gate on the southern direction) located about 5 kilometers to the south of Thimphu. The Dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture. Both monks and common people study here. Students who graduate from this school primarily become Dzongkha teachers.

Tashichho Dzong: Also known as "Fortress of the Glorious Religion", it was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 by the lama Gyalwa Lhanampa. It was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. It houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body and opens after 5 PM. This Dzong is a perfect example of how grand and intricate Bhutanese architecture is.

Tashichho Dzong: Also known as "Fortress of the Glorious Religion", it was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 by the lama Gyalwa Lhanampa. It was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. It houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body and opens after 5 PM. This Dzong is a perfect example of how grand and intricate Bhutanese architecture is.

Weekend Market: Every Saturday & Sunday most of the Thimphu population congregates on the banks of the river, where the weekend market is held. Here villagers from the valley & other nearby places come to sale their agricultural products. It is an interesting place to visit offering a chance to mingle with the locals.

HOLY PLACES:

Changangkha Monastery: It is one of the oldest and popular fortress like temple perched on a ridge above Central Thimphu built in 15th Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Many parents of Thimphu take their new born babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama. The Lhakhang houses Chenresig: an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avolokitesawara as the central statue. The temple courtyard offers good views over the city of Thimphu.

Cheri Monastery: The monastery was actually Chagri Dorjeden Monastery. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal founded the temple in 1620. Shabdrung spent three years in strict retreat at Chagri and resided there for many periods throughout the rest of his life. It was at Chagri in 1623 that he established the first Drukpa Kagyu monastic order in Bhutan. It is about 20 minutes’ drive and then a steep hike of about 1 – 1.50 hrs to reach the monastery. The monastery is now a major teaching and retreat center of the Drukpa Kagyu order. According to Bhutanese religious histories, the place was first visited by Padmasambhava in the 8th century. There is a silver chorten inside the monastery that enshrines the ashes of Shabdrung's father. 

Dechen Phodrang Monastery: Dechen Phrodrang means "Palace of Great Bliss." It is a Buddhist monastery located to the north of Thimphu. The Dzong located at the end of Gaden Lam was original the site of Thimphu's Tashichho Dzong. In 1971, it was converted into a monastic school with 450 student monks enrolled for eight-year courses. It has a staff of 15. The monastery contains a number of important historical Bhutanese artifacts including 12th century paintings monitored by UNESCO and a noted statue of Namgyal on the upper floor. In the downstairs chapel, there is a central Sakyamuni Buddha.

Drupthob Lhakhang: It is also known as Zilukha Nunnery and is one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.

Tango Monastery: The monastery was founded by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa in the 13th century and was built in its present form in 1688 by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th temporal ruler. It is about 20 minutes’ drive and then a steep hike of about 1 – 1.50 hrs to reach the monastery.  According to local legend, the location of this monastery is the holy place where Avalokiteshvara revealed himself as "the self-emanated form of the Wrathful Hayagriva". The location had been prophesized in Tibet. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal meditated in its cave in the year 1616.

SHORT DAY TRIPS:

Dochula Pass: It is the most known pass in Bhutan and os about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Punakha/Wangdue Phodrang. It lies at an elevation of around 3150 Mtrs. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. From here you can admire the sterling view of snow-capped Himalayas and the hundreds of "broadcasting" prayer flags. During winters, road to Dochula pass is covered with mild snow. Prime attraction to visit Dochula pass is 108 chortens / stupas built under the patronage of Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk.
 


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Testimonials


  • Thilo and Cordula
  • Very good guide/driver team, we had a lot of fun with them. Very special thanks for the visa support to get back to India We had a lot of luck during our tour with N.B. as we were able to see the Kankar Punsum and also wild monkeys eating and jumping in the trees above us. Please find our selected photos of that attached. Thank you very much again for letting us join together for dinner with your wife, for your hospitality and your gifts. We still find us very surprised at Bhutan, from its cultural spots and landscape.

  • Ms. Margaret and Friends
  • Had an extremely amazing time! Lobzang and Subba were great & hospitality 2nd to none! Thank you for such a great time and we definitely encourage more people to come visit Bhutan via your travel guides. Thank you for all your hospitality. Our Trip to Bhutan was better than what we expected. It was great to meet Lobzang and Sanman every morning there to greet us with a smile. Lobzang’s knowledge of Bhutan and all the historical places is fantastic. Also Sanman’s driving made us feel safe at all times and very comfortable. Whenever we talk about Bhutan we will always recommend you all.

  • Mr. Christoph A. Riedweg
  • Tika and Mohan went out of their way to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. For all of our requests they tried there very best to arrange (food, sightseeing, shopping). The trip offered a great mix of sightseeing, history, nature and daily life in Bhutan. We truly enjoyed our stay.

  • Aveek Pradhan
  • Service offered was quite appreciating and we look forward to avail other services in the near future.

  • Ms. Nilima and friends
  • Excellent Trip. Thanks to Vivek and Santosh. Amazing guide and an excellent driver. They made our trip memorable. We would recommend them to everyone.