Situated at an altitude of 2400m, Thimphu is the centre of government, religion and commerce. The capital has an interesting combination of tradition and modernity and includes some of the most advanced and remotest parts of the kingdom.
The Thimphu Tshechu, as all Tshechu festivals, honours Padma Sambhawa, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the precious yogi and saint who is credited with having introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas.
Tashichhodzong (Thimphu Dzong)
The “fortress of the glorious religion” was first constructed in 1641 and restored by the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. Tashichhodzong houses the offices of some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monastic body. Opening hour: Weekday 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM Weekend 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM Winter 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Thimphu Tshechu Festival
The Thimphu Tshechu, as all Tshechu festivals, honors Padma Sambhawa, also known as Guru Rimpoche, the precious yogi and saint who is credited with having introduced Tantric Buddhism throughout the Himalayas. The festival's masked dances are performed by monks clad in colorful brocade attire and permeated by chants and reading of Buddhist scripts. The culmination of festival constitutes the unfolding of a huge cloth thanka, a sacred scroll, depicting Padma Smabhawa and imagery from Buddhist pantheon.
Centenary Farmers' Market
Most of the Thimphu population congregate on the banks of Wangchhu River where the market is held. Villagers from the Valley and other nearby places come to sell their wide range of agriculture products in the market. The market is by far the largest domestic market in Bhutan. A visit to the market provides great photo opportunities, as well as the chance to mingle with local people and perhaps buy souvenirs.
Sangaygang (BBS Tower)
Drive about 15 minutes from the main city to a hillock where the Bhutan Broad Casting Tower is stationed. From there you can relish the beautiful scene of the whole of Thimphu City. On the way up or down from the hillock, you can also see Takin the national animal of Bhutan. It is also possible to request for the early morning walk up to this viewpoint.
On the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a strange looking beast some say looks like a bee-stung moose.
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