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Tourist Places To Visit In Thimphu
The most contemporary and largest city in Bhutan, Thimphu is also the religious, social, economic and political powerhouse of the country. There are monasteries and paddy fields on the one side and restaurants, nightclubs and shopping centres on the other. That’s Thimphu for you, a busy little city with many places of tourist interest, just waiting to be explored.
The Clock Tower Square at Norzim Lam is at the heart of the city. The four faced Clock Tower displays intricately carved Bhutanese architecture and handcrafted golden dragons, symbolic of Bhutan. There are many restaurants, shopping malls and parks around the Clock Tower.
The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress located on the northern side of Thimphu town, on the banks of the river Wang Chhu. The Government offices of Bhutan functions from the Tashichho Dzong which also houses the throne room of the King of Bhutan, the Secretariat and other ministries. There is a temple inside the Dzong and a well maintained garden. The Dzong, which is 2.3 km away from the Clock Tower, is open to tourists from 5.30 pm - 6.30 pm.
Known as the ‘Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Manthras’, this small Dzong was built in 1629 and is believed to have provided protection from a demon who was imprisoned in a rock close by. Today, the Dzong functions as a language learning institute. The Simtokha Dzong is on the southern side of Thimphu, 4.7 km away from Clock Tower. It is open to tourists from 9.30 am to 5 pm all days of the week.
Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve in Motithang district of Thimphu is a sanctuary for protecting Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. It is open from 9 am to 4 pm on all days, except Monday.
Buddha Dordenma is located on the top of a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, 3 km away from the Clock Tower. Made of bronze and gilded in gold, the 51.5 m tall statue of Buddha is one of the biggest statues in the world.
Dechencholing Palace, residence of the Royal Family, is 4 km north of Tashichho Dzong. The King of Bhutan lives in the Samteling Palace, while the rest of the Royal family lives in Dechencholing Palace. The lush gardens and the architecture of the Palace are worth a trip.
The Changangkha Temple, one of the oldest temples of Thimphu, stands 1.2 km away from the Clock Tower. Visit the shrine of Tshomen or mermaid goddess in the central courtyard and walk around the temple along the back kora or pilgrim path.
The temple is open from 6 am to 6 pm, though the finest time to visit is said to be from 6 to 8am and 5 to 6pm.
The Memorial Chorten Stupa is located on the Doeboom Lam in the south central part of Thimphu. Built in 1974 to honour the third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorje Wangchuck, the Stupa with the golden spire is called ‘the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan.’ The Chorten lies 0.5 km away from Clock Tower.
Bhutan Postal Museum
Bhutan Postal Museum at the General Post Office building has on display a vast collection of Bhutan’s stamps, artefacts from Bhutan’s early transportation and communication systems, including the popular ‘Talking Stamps.’ The Museum is open from Monday-Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm in summer and from 9 am to 4 pm in winter.
Dochula Pass on the way from Thimphu to Punakha is a popular tourist spot as it gives a breathtaking view of the mountainous countryside around. The Pass is 11.1 km away from the Clock Tower.