Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan located in the west-central part of the country. Thimphu is best known across Asia for its many Buddhist temples and monasteries. When traveling to this city, you must spend time exploring the following attractive destinations in Thimphu.
Attractive Destinations in Thimphu
1. Tashichho Dzong
Tashichho Dzong or ‘the fortress of the auspicious religion’ is an ancient dzong located in Thimphu. One can get the best possible view of the town from Tashichho Dzong.
Tashichho Dzong is home to the colorful ‘Tsechu’ festivities. The dzong houses the royal throne room, several offices of the king, and several ministries. A place is an administrative place of Thimphu. It is one of the highly visited tourist places in Thimphu. The dzong is guarded by towers from all four sides. The inner part of the dzong is designed in the royal and ancient Bhutanese way. The ceiling of the dzong is decorated with mandala paintings.
2. Changangkha Lhakhang
A popular Buddhist temple, this place was first built in the 12th century under the guidance of Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo from Tibet. The place is especially visited by parents to receive blessings for their newborn children. The white fortress-like structure makes it one of the most popular tourist places in the Thimphu holiday. The interiors are full of murals depicting different stories. You can also get an astrology reading done here. The quiet and serenity of the place, with a lane full of black-gold prayer wheels, will add to the whole mystical aura of your visit here.
3. Buddha Dordenma
The quaint town of Thimphu is home to a 51 meters tall gold-plated statue of Buddha Dordenma, which is entirely made up of steel. The night sees this statue beautifully illuminated and makes it an even better sight to behold. The statue houses around 125,000 spectacular smaller Buddha statues made of bronze and plated in gold, each of which looks like the Dordenma itself.
Built amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, it marks your entry in Thimphu. The golden gilded statue is a marvel to behold, especially at nights, when it shines against the dark sky. The base of the statue, which is 3 storeys tall, is a meditation hall. It is one of the largest Buddha Stupas in the world.
4. Memorial Chorten
The Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten/ Memorial Stupa is one of the tallest monuments in Thimphu. Located in the southern central part of the city, in Doeboom Lam, the Stupa attracts tourists from all around the globe with its elegant architecture. The Chorten is a place that would give you an insight into Buddhism through its great artwork, wall carvings, and marvelous sculptures. This ancient monument highlights Buddhist culture, serving as a great place to wander around while enjoying the aura of the site.
It was built in the honor of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third king of Bhutan and the father of modern Bhutan. It is adorned with statues and paintings dedicated to the king’s majesty. The architecture of this place is marvelous and is a highlight of the town. Overflowing with peace and serenity, the Thimphu Chorten is truly a wonder to watch.
5. National Folk Heritage Museum
If you really wish to dive into Bhutan’s true culture and history, the National Folk Heritage Museum is the best place to start as it beautifully preserves and flaunts the centuries-old folk traditions of the country.
This unique Heritage museum preserves traditional Bhutanese dishes, farming tools, household objects, and as well as important traditional trees. The surroundings of the establishment in which the museum has been constructed have beautifully preserved some of the most authentic folk elements of historic Bhutan. From traditionally important flora and fauna to the authentic Bhutanese hot baths and water mills, this museum has been preserving Bhutan’s culture in the best way possible.
6. Weekend Market
Quite literally, this market is held on the weekend at the banks of river Wang Chhu. Different shopkeepers from Thimphu and neighboring areas start arriving in the city on Thursday evening and leave on Sunday night to set up their stalls for the market. This is one of the attractive destinations in Thimphu to get a thorough idea of culture, food, and local lifestyle. You can pick some incense, saffron, and other herbs from local vendors. Apart from that, different Bhutanese and Tibetan food items like dried fish, pork, ground barley, red rice, cheese, wild honey, etc. also are available here. You can also shop for souvenirs from the Handicrafts Market, which is a stone’s throw away from here.