Bhutan District - Thimphu
Thimphu lies in a wooded valley, sprawling up a hillside on the west bank of the Wang Chhu. Capital to the tiny Himalayan kingdom Bhutan, 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. Thimphu has excellent trekking routes of different levels giving you ample opportunities for hiking, trekking, river rafting, and wildlife excursions. Full of wonderful restaurants and delighful shops stocked with items from all over Bhutan. Hand woven textiles, woodcarving, tailor made clothing, jewelry. It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights.
City at a Glance
There was a small population in the Thimphu valley even before the time of the Shabdrung, but Thimphu didn't really exist as a town until it became the capital of Bhutan in 1961. The first vehicle appeared in Thimphu in 1962 and the town remained very rural until the late 1970's. Buddhism as the supreme religion and a way of life was introduced in Bhutan in 8th century when Indian Buddhist monk Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) came to Bhutan and established many monasteries.
There are four distinct seasons similiar in their divisions to those of Western Europe. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8°-21°C (46°-70°F). Temperatures drop dramatically with increases in altitude. Days are usually very pleasant (average about 10°C/50°F) with clear skies and sunshine. Nights are cold and require heavy woollen clothing, particularly in winter. Generally October, November and April to mid-June are the best times to visit - rainfall is at a minimum and temperatures are conducive to active days of sightseeing. The foothills are also very pleasant during the winter.
Trashi Chhode Dzong:-
It was initially built in the 17th century and was rebuilt in early 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It is the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of his majesty and a summer residence of the central monk body. The outer structure is two storeys high with three storey's towers at the four corners. It has two main entrances one leads to administrative section at the south, and another to monastic quarter. It is open to visitor during Thimpu festival.
It was established in 1967 to preserve many ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. It contains collection of English-language books, modern academic texts, small collection of books about Bhutan etc.
National Institute for Zorig Chumsum:-
It is commonly known as 'the painting school'. It offers a six years course that provides instruction in many of the Bhutan's traditional arts to the students.
This large traditional Bhutanese-style building was built in 1990s to provide a venue for meeting of the heads of the state and government from the South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC).
National Memorial Chorten:-
This large Tibetan-style chorten was built in 1974 to honour the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. There are numerous religious paintings and statues reflecting aspects of Buddhist deities. it is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu.
If you are on a normal tourist visa, you will have a car, driver and a guide available throughout your stay here. A public bus service operates throughout Thimphu between 7.30am to 7.30pm. Taxis are also easily available.
There are a lot of choices available such as golf, swimming, mountain biking, rock climbing.
There are occasional concerts and video shows at the time of tsechu. You can enjoy in nightclubs, Pubs and Bars and shopping is fun when there are 'general cum bar shops'.