It is the capital of this Himalayan Kingdom. It is the center of government, religion and commerce. This place is a unique combination of ancient traditions and modern development. Thimphu maintains its character in architectural style. Visit the colorful weekend market, museums and landmarks like National Memorable Chorten. It is famous for being the only capital in the world which does not have a traffic light.
Visit School of Arts and Crafts where students are taught 13 types of Bhutanese art, visit National library where there are collection of Bhutanese scripture dates back to eighth centuries. There is a nursery pen for ‘Takin’ the national animal of Bhutan. If you want to just walk around Thimphu make sure to taste the variety of food in Bhutan including basket upon basket of fiery chillies.
High above the Paro valley, Taktsang Monastery built on the sheer cliff face above 3000 meters is a spectacular sight to behold. It is also an important pilgrimage site for the Buddhists. It is said that great Guru Rinpoche had flown here on the back of tigresses when he bought the teaching of Buddhist Dharma in Bhutan in the eighth century. He then meditated in the cave for 3 months where the monastery was built.
The trail to Taktsang is broad and the walk is approximately 2 hours uphill which will take you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley.
The glacial valley of Gangtey is one of the beautiful spots in Bhutan and many call it Shangri-La of Bhutan. After a hard climb through the dense forest the surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan. Visit the Gangtey monastery dating back to the 16th century and a few kilometers beyond the monastery lies Phobjikha which is the winter home of black necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass the winter in milder and lower climate. Visit Phobjikha sanctuary to visit majestic black necked cranes (Nov-Mar).
Being second oldest and second largest and gorgeous Dzong in Bhutan, it is called Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness) by some. Punakha is a 3 hour drive from the capital of Bhutan and is blessed with a temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the Punakha valley yields abundant crops and fruits. Punakha Dzong was the administrative center and capital of Bhutan until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. There are splendid views of the distant Himalayas at Dochula pass (ALT. 3,050m) on Thimphu – Punakha road. Punakha Dzong, 170 meters long and 72 meters wide is a massive and an impressive structure with elaborately painted in gold, red and black impressed woods add to the artistic lightness of touch. The Dzong contains many precious ruins from the days when successive kings reined the kingdom from this valley.
A historic and one of the beautiful sites of Paro lies on the banks of the Paro (or Pa). With many historical buildings scattered all over the valley it recognized as one of the beautiful town of Bhutan. Paro is home to most of Bhutan’s many oldest monasteries, National Museum and the country’s only airport. At the northern end of the valley is the mighty Mt. Chomolhari (7,314m) whose glacial water pours through the deepest gorge to Pa Chhu (Paro river) making it a most fertile valley in the kingdom. Visit Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of great saint Milarepa considered as master of meditation by Buddhists.
It is a place with many historical sites with spectacular landscape around. It is a home of the monarchy, the country’s first hereditary monarch and his successor ruled the country from Trongsa. Take a tour to Trongsa Dzong, which is the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Trongsa is the largest Dzong of the Kingdom. The view from the Dzong is outstanding and once can see across the landscape for several miles. Visit Kuenga Rabten on the slope overlooking the mighty Mangdue River. The three-storied tower features finely decorated woodwork, as well as two Lakhangs (temples). Visit the Yurungchholing Palace with exquisite architecture and interior designs. A whole day in this historical place is recommended for the exploration.
Bumthang is the spiritual heartland of the country. This place has an individuality that will mystify, all its visitors. The Bumgthang Valley is the home to some of the Bhutan’s oldest Palaces, Buddhist temples and Monasteries. The valleys, apple field and barley field lay below the huge hill which climbs toward Himalayan mountain walls which separated Bhutan from Tibet. Visit Wingdichholing Palace, which is the first Palace, built in Bhutan. Visit the 16th century Tamshing Lhakhang containing ancient Buddhist wall canvases dating back to 7th century. Jambay Lhakhang and Kurje Lhakhang, is the one of the most sacred places in the kingdom of Bhutan.