On the way to Thimphu from Paro the observant eye might spot a strange and what appears to be a dilapidated bridge. On closer inspection the bridge looks stripped clean yet this is how it was meant to be.
In the 1300's Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo built 108 bridges made out of chain links intertwined. This particular bridge is well known amongst Bhutanese, as it is a landmark on their travels between Paro and Thimphu and many stop to cross the bridge.
The bridge that was built in the 1300's still is structurally sound and can be crossed leisurely which speaks volumes of Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo blacksmithing abilities.
When on the bridge it is a unique feeling of being suspended in the air with the wind from the river below creating a sense of movement, flying perhaps. In most countries great blacksmith's work is often sealed off in a museum with a glass separating people from experiencing it however, the Chain Link Bridge representing 700 years of history with each step is open to the public and so with it the ingenuity and craftsmanship of one of Bhutan's greatest blacksmiths.
The bridge leads to the Tachogang temple meaning the 'Temple of the hill of the excellent horse' which is beautifully positioned on the base of a mountain and built by the same the great iron bridge builder Thangtong Gyalpo.
The main shrine of the lhakhang holds the relics: statue of Lord Buddha, Zhabdrung, Guru Padmasambhava and Chenrizig Avalokiteshvara. There also is a stack of ancient books (Kangjur and Tenjur) and a walking stick of Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo.
The surrounding hills are devoid of trees and make for a good spot for a picnic near the river side. However it would be wise to avoid areas where the cattle frequent. The calm breeze during the summer here make it for a very scenic stroll however during the winter the temperature makes the area a bit more hostile to those not equipped for the temperature.
The bridge is on route to the Airport no matter where you go in Bhutan so it is recommended like many Bhutanese to take a few minutes to cross the Chain Linked Bridge and experience 700+ years of Bhutanese history.