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Bhutan: A Country Of Thunder Dragons II.

Published: 3.8.2011
Bhutan Sightseeings

In the course of past centuries, this fascinating country was in total isolation from the neighbouring world. Such fact is indicated with the name which could be translated as „Tibet Edge“. Thanks to this, some of the oldest forests of our planet, including unique sorts of flora and fauna. were preserved there. In Bhutan, you can find many characteristic constructions – dzongs. These are gigantic fortificated monasteries, famous with its typical architecture and traditions.


It is a metropolis situated in the altidude of nearly 2500 metres above sea level, in wonderful valley, nice formed with Thimplu-Chhu (Vang Chu) river. This town has 89 thousands Thimphu architecture is reflecting many years´ traditions of  local builders, typical for their own coloured decorated facades and high points reminding medioeval atmosphere. On the hill,  behind the town, is situated main dominanta - Tashi Chho Dzong (A Citadel of Blessed Religion - 19th-20th centuries). It is extensive monastery. In past, this building took a place of an important task in defence and cultural life of the locality. Close to this complex, Chorten - a National Monument – is to be found. It is consecrated to Dzhigma Dorya Bangchuk, the third King of Bhutan. Here, a school of traditional paintings, as well as National Library, with big collection of old manuscripts are placed. (taken for the best collection of religious and historican literature in Himalaya). National Centre of Traditional Medicine is also popular target of tourists´ interest. This complex is situated in south direction from Tashi Chho Dzong. Another places of interest, which are worth to visit, are as follows: King´s School of Art, National Textile Museum, Thangka Collection of Art and another institutions of culture. In Thimphu, a factory, specialized for production of traditional paper from vegetable fibres, is located. In general post-office, you can buy attractive postage stamps,very popular in the Kingdom as well as abroad.

In distance of twelve kilometres from the capital, majestic Phadjoding Monastery (of 13th century) is located. From the outlook, a wonderful view towards capital and surroundings, including small monastery of Sulukha Dzong, is offered. Cheri Monastery, situated at the periphery of the metropolis, became famous with its coloured architecture. Close to the capital, approx. in distance of eight kilometres to the south, on mountaneous range, Simtokha Dzong Monastery is to be admired.This complex was terminated in 1627. It is the oldest citadel and the oldest dzong of the country. Inside, there is a seat of King´s Spirit Academy.


The town of Paro is a centre of vast and fertile Paro Valley, famous with its picturesque countryside, villages and big number of historical buildings – monasteries and inhabitated complexes, It is most populated area of the country, where the persons of  Nepal origin are living. As main Paro monument, it is unique Taktsang Lahang Dzong Monastery (Tiger´s Hole), situated on the top of rocky cliff in an altitude of 900 metres of sea level above the valley. The monastery was founded by Guru Rimpoche (8th century) on a place of cave, where Padmasambhava meditated (It was Buddhist teacher who-according to the tradition - brought Buddhist religion to Tibet). At present, this complex belongs to one of main Buddhist sanctuaries in the country. Eight churches, waterfall (the women had their bath here, when Padmasambhava meditated), several houses, where monks lived, are concentrated there. On slopes above the monastery, several other similar complexes are spreaded, including children cemetery - cult place.

To another interesting monuments belong, for instance, Ta Dzong - Bhutan National Museum .It is placed inside spaces of former watch tower (1654-1656), partially destructed fortificated monastery of Druk Yul Dzong - a Palace of Queen Mother, followed by great monasteries of Paro Dzong or Rinchen Pung Dzong (Jewel Peak Citadel), Zari Dzong, etc. In mountains above Paro, many small monasteries and chortens are to be found (Satsam Chorten, Rinpung Dzong, Djele Dzong, and Chelila, women Monastery). Above the town, Chomolgari, Holy Mountain (7400 metres) is dominating. However, the mounting upstairs is not permitted.


Text: Maxim Kucer

Foto: Wikimedia Commons - Christopher J. Fynn (foto 2, foto 3, foto 4, foto 5), Greenmnm69 (foto 2)


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