Bhutan Landmarks


The most distinct and important structure in Bhutan, Dzongs (fortresses) are architectural masterpieces that dotted Bhutan. Each Dzongs are built on a site chosen for religious significance.

Bhutanese dzong architecture reached its zenith in the 17th century after the arrival of the great lama Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Each of the dzongs site were based on omens and visions. The dzongs were well sited with regard to their function as defensive fortresses. Hilltops or mountain spurs were usually chosen as a site to build dzongs, and if dzongs were built on the side of a valley wall, a smaller dzong or a watchtower is typically built directly uphill from the main dzong whose main purpose would be to keep the slope clear of attackers who might otherwise shoot downward into the courtyard of the main dzong below.

The Dzongs are part of a network that defended the Kingdom against frequent invasions by Tibetans in the 17th century. Dzongs have stone foundations and walls of sand and clay bricks, and wooden beams are skilfully cut to fit most dexterously.

By tradition, dzongs are constructed without the use of architectural plans hence there is no blueprints of any of the dzongs. Instead a high lama who established each dimension by means of spiritual inspiration gave construction directions. Traditional Bhutanese architecture did not use any nail;s or iron bars. Dzongs serve as the religious, military, administrative and social centres of their districts and are often the site of an annual tsechu or other religious festivals.

 


Jakar Yugyal Dzong, commonly known as Jakar Dzong, is situated on a ridge above the Jakar village of Chamkhar valley in Bumthang. There are different accounts of the origin of the Dzong. Some

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Paro Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The Paro Dzong was built in 1644 under the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Paro Dzong full name is Rinpung Dzong, which means ’the

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Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founder of Bhutanese state, built Punakha Dzong in 1637. It was originally named Puntang Dechen Phodrang Dzong, which means the Palace of Great Bliss. Punakha Do

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Known as "fortress of the glorious religion", Tashichho Dzong, or popularly known as Thimphu Dzong, is an impressive structure that houses the Bhutanese government and stand on the right side of th

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The Trongsa Dzong literally means the Dzong on the tip of a Dungkhar (of the never changing country of Druk and the everlasting Dharm). Trongsa Dzong is situated overlooking the Mangdechhu River.

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Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel was supposedly at Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha when he met a decrepit old man. He described a ridge in the present-day Wangdue Phodrang as a ’sleeping elephant’ and told Zhab

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These religious structures and sacred sites are soaked in the myth, legends and history of Bhutan.

 

 


Geography Taktsang Monastery, famously known as Tiger Nest Monastery, is located in Paro, Bhutan. The monastery is one of the most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan. History

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Chhime Lhakhang lies on the periphery of the expansive valley of Lobesa where the borders of Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang districts meets. Perched on top of a little hilltop overlookin

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The Tango Goemba site has had religious significance since the 12th century when it was the home of the Lama who brought the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism to Bhutan. The monastery was bui

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Jambay Lhakhang is said to be one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in 659 AD on a single day to pin down an ogress to earth forever. A supine demoness was causing o

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During the 8th century, Sendhu Raja who was the king of Bumthang fell ill and he invited Guru Rinpochhe who brought Buddhism into Bhutan to cure him. Guru Rinpochhe found out that the King’s i

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Kyichu Lhakhang is a Buddhist temple in Paro. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the country built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demone

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Bhutan's splendid temples and other landmarks are well maintained, preserving the country's rich heritage.

The most well known pass in Bhutan, Dochula Pass is located about 30 km away from the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. The 108 chortens were built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who wer

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Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten stands out on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha valley. Her Majesty built the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck it. It took 9 years to build and Holy Sc

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Written by Cipto Handoyo