Trashigang and Trashiyangtse – An Orient’s East

The journey from Bumthang to Mongar is one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas crossing 3,800 m high Thrunsingla pass. Mongar marks the beginning of eastern Bhutan. The second largest town in the subtropical east, Mongar, like Trashigang further east, is situated on the side of a hill in contrasts to other towns of western Bhutan which are built on the valley floor.

The difficult drive over winding bends and high cliffs before Mongar makes the town a refreshing stop. The first thing visitors notice is that, unlike most western and central Bhutanese towns, Mongar sits on the side of a hill and not in a valley. Much of eastern Bhutan is the same – the hills are generally steeper and the valleys too narrow for comfort. The people of eastern Bhutan also speak a different dialect and their villages are less nucleated.
As if to emphasize its hilly base the small town of Mongar appears to have sprouted suddenly in one collective heave. The houses, all uniform in size, are relatively taller than elsewhere and rise into a hill slope in one straight line.

Mongar Dzong: It is the site of one of Bhutan’s newest Dzongs, built in 1930s. Yet the Dzong is built in the same method and traditions of all the other Dzongs, no drawings and nails have been used. A visit to the Dzong gives visitors an impression of how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive through the centuries.