Thimphu (Alt. 2250m ) – The Political Core

Thimphu is one of the smallest capitals yet, almost ironically, also one of the fastest growing urban centers in the world. The population growth rate is over seven percent per year.

No more than a collection of villages and a centralized dzong before it became the capital in 1956, Thimphu is now the largest Bhutanese town and represents the peak of Bhutan’s modest economic advancement. Still, it has no lack of religious and cultural character. It was from this valley that the sons of Phajo Drugom Zhipo, the founder of the state religion in Bhutan, spread the Drukpa Kagyud school of Buddhism in Druk Yul; and numerous monasteries and religious centers still adorn its hills. It remains the summer residence of the Je Khenpo, the religious head of the country, and of the Central Monk Body.

It was also in Thimphu that a decisive battle in 1885 allowed the first king, Sir Ugen Wangchuck, to unify Bhutan and later establish a monarchy. The fourth King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, today rules Bhutan from the Golden Throne in Thimphu’s Tashichhodzong (the Fortress of the Auspicious Religion).

The Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in memory of the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorjee Wangchuk. People circumbulate during early hours and late evenings to gain merit and for well being of the Bhutanese life.
The Ziluka nunnery, Changangkha Monastery is worth a visit too including the Mini zoo with the national animal, the Takin.

The Ziluka nunnery, Changangkha Monastery is worth a visit too including the Mini zoo with the national animal, the Takin.
Life in Thimphu revolves around the town’s main street, Norzin Lam, which is split into two levels and comprises a mix of shops, hotels and restaurants. Visitors will find Thimphu has many other places of interest such as the School of Arts and Crafts, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Handicrafts Emporium and the bronze workshop.

As a recent edition of the Himalayan Travel Trade Journal put it, “Thimphu is a capital proud of its past and shows every effort at maintaining its age old traditions. Although open to the outside world, the authorities have succeeded in keeping Western influences at bay, a reason why it captivates visitors.”
Towards Wangdi drive we have the Dochula Pass (Alt 3050m) view point of the highest peaks in Bhutan including Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Jhomolhari, Gangkar Phuensum and Masagang.

Tashichodzong, Zilukha Nunnery, Changangkha Lhakang, Painting School, National Library, Handicrafts Emporium, Vegetable Market, Simkokha Dzong, Folk Heritage, Textile Museum, Phajoding Monastery hike, Tango and Chari hike.