Thimphu has been the capital of Bhutan since 1955. It consists of nine administrative counties and one sub-district. It is the seat of the legislative, the government, and commerce.
|Surface area||1,785.85 sq. kilometers|
|Altitude||1300 to 7300 meters above sea level|
Getting to Thimphu
Thimphu is an hour’s drive from the airport. You will pass several charming little villages and temples on the way.
Places of Interest
Semtokha Dzong: This was the first Dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1627 and lies at the end of the Thimphu valley. Today, it houses the Institute of Language and Cultural Studies.
Tango Monastery: Legend has it that when Lam Phajo Drukgom Shigpo reached the place where this monastery stands today, he heard a horse neighing and a vision of Tandin (Hayagriva), the deity that features the head of a horse. Thus, this place became known as Tango (horse head) and Lam Phajo built a small temple. The present day monastery was built in 1689 by the 4th Desi (secular ruler).
Cheri Monastery: This was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. It houses the ashes of his father. It was here that the Zhabdrung organized the first monk body consisting of just 30 monks.
Changangkha Lhakhang: This temple was founded by Lam Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who introduced the Drukpa Kagyupa school in Bhutan in the first half of the 13th Century. It was later enlarged by his son Nyima. The central statue is that of Avalokiteshvara.
Memorial Chorten: This temple was built in 1974 by her Majesty the Queen to the Second King, in memory of the Third King of Bhutan. It is a spectacular stupa in the heart of Thimphu.
Museums: The Textile Museum lies in the center of the main town and exhibits a selection of beautiful Bhutanese textiles that display skills in warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, and a royal collection. The Folk Heritage Museum is an old three storey traditional house made of rammed earth and timber and displays traditional Bhutanese lifestyle.
Other areas of interest include the painting school, national library, the institute of traditional medicine, and the farmers market. Thimphu has a fast growing modern side as well. The main city consists of small family run restaurants and shops selling everything from garments, grocery and vegetables, to medical stores, bakeries and luxury hotels.