Bhutan is a verdant paradise with spectacular landscapes and magnificent architecture that is epitomized with Dzongs and Lhakhangs which stretch across the country. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan; the only capital city in the world without a single traffic light, the valley is endowed with rich cultural heritage that goes back centuries and is still thriving.
Thimphu has abundant exciting places of attraction and sightseeing for one to discover. One can explore quiet beautiful hikes in and around the pristine forest, visit exquisite architectures, take a leisure walk in the busy Thimphu city, etc. So, on your travel to Bhutan – Thimphu; you can pick up any choice of your attraction from the list below.
- Tashichho Dzong
Set into the open courtyard and visit the Grand Kuenrey, the most splendid room of the Tashichho Dzong. The assembly of monks performs their daily prayers here in the Kuenrey before the enormous statue of the Buddha.
2. Buddha Dordenma ( Kuenselphodrang)
Drive up to the gigantic Buddha Dordenma statue (51.5 Meters) which sits overlooking the Thimphu valley. Besides the tranquility of the place, the view of Thimphu city is incredible.
3. National Memorial Chorten
The National Memorial Chorten is a prominent landmark in Thimphu where you can see people from all walks of life gather to circumambulate the Chorten. The architecture and the statues of the Yidam Deities inside the stupa are incredible with profound spiritual meaning.
4. Changangkha Lhakhang
Located on a ridge overlooking the Chang valley (another name for Thimphu valley in the olden times), the Changangkha Lhakhang is an ancient temple founded in the 12th century by Lam Phajo Drugom Zhigpo. One can see devotees flock to this place to pray and chant mantras while circumambulating and spinning the Prayer wheels that surround the temple’s wall.
5. Simtokha Dzong
Located on a ridge separated by deep gorges; Simtokha Dzong stands strategically overlooking Thimphu valley and at the junction of the three provinces Sha, Pa and Wang (i.e. Wangduephodrang, Paro, and Thimphu). It is one of the oldest Dzong/fortress built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629 to unify the western part of Bhutan.
There are legends of malevolent forces being subdued on a huge rock at the place where the Dzong now stands. Thus, the name Simtokha has been derived from the word Simo-do-kha which literally translates as demoness on the rock.
6. Centenary Farmers Market
The centenary Farmers Market is the largest domestic vegetable market where farmers from across the country gather to display and sell the local produce. Located close to the Wang Chhu (Thimphu River), it is the busiest market in the country.
7. Bhutan Postal Museum
The Bhutan Traditional Institute of Zorig Chusum is an institute where students undergo four to six years courses in the 13 Traditional Bhutanese Arts & Crafts. The 13 Traditional Bhutanese arts and Crafts are:
I) Shingzo (Carpentry)
II) Parzo (Carving)
III) Dozo (Masonry)
IV) Lhazo (Painting)
V) Jinzo (Sculpting)
VI) Garzo (Blacksmithing)
VII) Lugzo (Bronze Casting)
VIII) Troeko (Ornament making)
IX) Tsharzo (Cane and bamboo weaving)
X) Thagzo (Weaving)
XI) Tshemzo (Tailoring, Embroidery, and Appliqué)
XII) Shagzo (Woodturning)
XIII) Dezo (Paper-making)
9. Dochula Pass
Visit the Dochula Pass located at 3,100 meters above sea level marked by colorful prayer flags and 108 concentrated Chortens (Buddhist Shrines). On a clear day, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks.
10. Chagri Monastery
Chagri is a Buddhist Monastery that is located at the Northern end of Thimphu valley. One must take a 17 km drive from Thimphu town till you reach the end of the road at Dodena. From Dodena after crossing an old wooden cantilever bridge the Chagri hike starts which will take about 45 minutes till you reach the Chagri Monastery. The place has a tranquil energy field and often time you can see mountain goats mingling freely with the monks. This is a must-visit place if you love nature and peaceful places.