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Bhutan Information
Bhutan History
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Bhutan Cities
Paro Attractions
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Bhutan Cities

Bhutan Airport


Cities in Bhutan
Bhutan, ‘the Last Shangri-La’ or the ‘Land of the Peaceful Thunder Dragon’ offers various attractions to tourists from all around the world. From its stark and striking mountains, to its lush green forests, fertile valleys, ancient ruins and culture, Bhutan is a delightful country that holds everybody in its thrall. The tourist sites and attractions of Bhutan are a unique experience unlike any other in the world.

Paro is the gateway to the country of Bhutan. Situated in the Paro Valley of Eastern Himalaya, the town is full of legends, heroism, and natural splendour. The town is located at an altitude of 2,250 m above the sea level with river flowing gently on its side and making it the most beautiful valley in the country. Though, the capital of Bhutan is Thimphu, but for a longer time of the history Paro had the control of this part of the country. The town of Paro in western Bhutan attracts tourists due to its scenic locales, beautiful landscapes, wooded villages and historic buildings. The only airport of Bhutan is located in Paro.


Punakha is the winter seat of the Central Monk Body. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan. The Punakha valley is drained by the Phochu and Mochu rivers. This valley produces rich crops of rice and fruits, including mangoes, bananas and oranges. Punakha has a temperate climate. The road from Thimphu to Punakha is crossed through a 10,218 feet high Dochu La Pass. This pass offers enchanting views

Punakha Bhutan

of alpine snows and red, pink, white, yellow and purple rhododendron flowers. The Punakha Dzong, Jampe Lhakhang and Kurje monastery are the main tourist attractions in Punakha. In 1637, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built the Punakha Dzong (fortress) at the junction of the Phochu and Mochu rivers to serve as the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan. Punakha Dzong houses many sacred temples, including the Machhin Lhakhang, where the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel lies in state in keeping with tradition. Today, various rituals, including the serving of meals, is carried out as it was during the Shabdrung’s life. This dzong was damaged four times by fire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and by earthquakes in 1897. The Punakha Dzong also suffered devastation by floods. The Dzong was completely restored under the direction of the present King. The sacred Jampe Lhakhang and Kurje monasteries are believed to have been built in the eighth century by Sindhu Raja whom Padmasambhava cured of his ailment. The body marks of Guru Padmasambhava are still imprinted on a solid rock.

The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu. Thimphu is situated at a height of over 7600 feet on a hillside in a fertile valley on the banks of the Thimphu Chhu River. Thimphu is perhaps the smallest capital in the world. Thimphu is a gallery of traditional Bhutanese art, architecture, culture, and tradition and above all still so ethnic and pure. It is a fitting and lively place. It is not that modernity has not reached this region, but they are being introduced in a phased and balanced manner that is unheard of at any place in the world. All these make Thimphu a unique destination in Bhutan.


Trongsa is situated midway between Ha in the far west and Tashigang in the far east and is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. Lying in the centre of Bhutan, Trongsa is of great importance in the history of Bhutan. Trongsa is one of the quaintest and most charming of all Bhutanese towns. Both Ugyen Wangchuck, the Penlop of Tongsa who was elected as the nation’s first hereditary monarch, and his successor King Jigme Wangchuck, ruled the country from Trongsa's ancient dzong. All four kings held the post of Tongsa Penlop before being officially crowned. The present king was

Trongsa Bhutan

appointed as Penlop in 1972, before his succession to the throne. The main attraction of Trongsa is the Trongsa Dzong. The Trongsa Dzong was built by Ngawang Namgyel in 1648 and later enlarged and decorated. Trongsa Dzong is an awe-inspiring and impregnable fortress. It has a labyrinth of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. Due to its strategic position, the only connecting route between the eastern and western sectors of the central religion, the Trongsa Penlop could effectively control the court. This Dzong has a magnificent collection of rhino-horn sculptures.

The valley of Wangdiphodrang is situated on the east-west traverse and road beyond Thimphu, at the junction of the Mochu and Tangchu rivers. The higher reaches of the valley provide rich cattle pastures. Yak dairy research station has also been set up at Gopgona. The Wangdiphodrang Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mochu and Tangchu rivers. For many centuries, it was the seat of one of the Bhutan’s most powerful dzongpons.


Tashigang is located in the far eastern part of Bhutan, on the banks of the Dangme Chhu river. Tashigang is the hub of the region’s largest and most important district of Bhutan. Once the centre of a busy trade-route with Tibet, today, Tashigang is the junction of the east-west highway with a road which runs north from the foothill town of Samdrupjongkhar. The local specialities of Tashigang are the different coloured handloom cloth and silk, spun from cocoons and bred on castor oil plants. Tropical crops

Tashigang Bhutan

and fruits also grows in this area. The Tashigang Dzong, from which the whole of the eastern region was governed from the late 17th century until the unification of the country at the beginning of this century, stands on a steep ridge above the Manas River. This dzong was built in 1667 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, Bhutan’s third Deb. Kelling, the comfortable hotel can be used as a base for visiting this area.

Mongar is situated to the southwest of Tashigang. It is the second largest settlement in the east. Bhutan’s new dzongs which were built in 1930 following the traditional architectural pattern are also located in Mongar. The Kurichu Hydroelectric project is located in Mongar. When completed, it will have a total capacity to output 60 megawatts of hydroelectricity. The town itself is small with a sprinkling of shops. The Mongar Dzong is modern compared to others in the kingdom. The Motel Shongar provides accommodation to the tourists.


Bumthang is the home of the great Buddhist teacher Pemalingpa, to whose descendants the present dynasty traces its ancestry. Pemalingpa was a blacksmith who was led by mystic forces to discover spiritual treasures at the bottom of a burning lake. He does not know how to spread the word contained in the treasures, until one night the Daklinis or female heavenly spirits revealed to him the power to preach. On the day when he preached, flowers dropped from the sky and vanished into rays of light.

Bumthang Bhutan

Bumthang is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, and here the most ancient and precious Buddhist sites are located. It is the home to the most important dzongs, temples and palaces. Wangdichholing Palace, the residence of the former king, Ugyen Wangchuk; the temple of Jambey Lhakang, the sacred cave of Kurjey Lhakang; and the largest Bhutanese dzong, Jakar, are all located here. The Hotel Wangdichhaling provides comfortable stay to the tourists in Bumthang.

Phobjika is a glacial valley that has been designated a conservation area. It lies on the borders of the Black Mountain National Park that is one of the most important wildlife preserves in Bhutan. The rare, endangered black-necked cranes that have a special place in Bhutanese folklore roost here in the winters. Tourists can view their roosting places with permission from relevant authorities. Barking deer, wild boars, leopards, Himalayan black bears and red foxes are some of the animals that live here. The Satkeng Wildlife Sanctuary is also located nearby. The wild east of the Bhutanese kingdom can be explored from Punakha, Trashigang, Wangdue Phodrang and Gangtey Gompa, which are some of the favorite tourist sites.




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