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Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan
Written by Rahul on June 8, 2020 Share on

Tashichho Dzong – Tha majestic seat of government in Bhutan

The predominantly Buddhist nation of Bhutan is one place that is in isolation from the globe. Bhutan as a country has prohibited tobacco related products and also has no traffic lights. If you think that’s it, then you are wrong. Bhutan, as they live closely with nature, even hunting and fishing are prohibited in the country. There is constant flooding of tourists in Bhutan year by year. This is because of its natural beauty, the culture and history of the country. Even the architecture in the country is somewhat unique. In this beautiful country, is a city, Thimpu. This is the capital city of the country Bhutan. In this city is the majestic building, Tashichho Dzong. This place represents exemplary architecture. Let us have a much deeper look into this architectural marvel.

Bhutanese woman
Image Credits: Suket Dedhia from Pixabay

Tashichho Dzong

Located about 2 km away from the city of Thimpu, stands the magnificent structure, Tashichho Dzong. Built during the year 1641, this piece of architecture went through several restorations. Now serving as the monastery, this building is also the central secretariat of the Bhutanese government. This is a building which stands poised in the Wangchhu River. Also known as the “Fortress of the glorious religion”, the Tashichho Dzong is one of the most iconic buildings of Bhutan. It is one building that has a perfect scenic view both from inside and outside. A lovely rose garden in the front of the building welcomes the tourists into this beautiful fortress. Around the building is a manicured garden and it is such a delight to have a look at. This tall building is one of the most prominent buildings of Thimpu.

The Phunaka Dzong, Thimpu
Image Captions: Jaanam Haleem on Unsplash

Interesting facts about Tashichho Dzong

A place that has many historical and cultural background will have many interesting facts. Likewise, the Tashichho Dzong has its own share of rather mind-blowing facts to it. Some of the interesting facts about this masterpiece are:

  • Every Dzong that is there has a reason for it. They are built to repel the opposing army and to centralize power. Usually built on top of the hills, The Dzongs protects the unprotected regions from invasion.
  • This Dzong is simply a personification of the victories of the Bhutanese rule. They are the logo of the victories of the Bhutanese army during ancient times.
  • Originally built at the 12th Century, the Tashichho Dzong was destroyed in a fire and was beyond repair. This Dzong was constructed after that.
  • Many cultural and historical artefacts are there in the Dzong and they are priceless. These fortresses act as the answers to many complexes mythological stories.
  • This Dzong is not just an historic piece of evidence but also an essential part of Bhutan’s Democracy.
  • These Dzongs are not just a governing fortress but also a place where the priests stay and provide them with spiritual education. These Dzongs are also monasteries.
Old Monk in Tibet.
Image Credits: Smokefish from Pixabay

History

The name means “Fortress of the Glorious religion”. The original Dzong is actually present at the top of the new Dzong. Known as the Do Ngon Dzong or the Blue Stone Dzong, this was there from the time period of 1216. Built by the Lama Gyalwa Lhananga, it was at a higher altitude than the present one. Then the bearded Lama, Zhabdrung Rinpoche took over the fortress in the later 1640s. Renamed as the Trashi Chho, it later became Tashichho. it was the centre for all monastic and civil services. The building was small, and could not occupy everything. So the building was expanded to be much bigger than before. This Dzong has survived over 4 fires and 1 earthquake. This is the history of the Tashichho Dzong.

Tashichho Dzong during 1921.
Image Credits: Google Images

Architecture

The building has a 5 storey watchtower that rises from the Dzong’s centre. The gold, white and red buildings are not the only things that we should be amused about. The one very intriguing fact about the architecture of the building is that it does not have any joints or nails throughout the building. The corner of the rectangular plot has the 3 storeyed building. Built with 2 different entrances, the 1st entrance is for the tourists to enter. The other entrance is way off from the first one. It is a long walk and you will get one of the most perfect experiences of walking by the riverside. The architecture of this masterpiece is the perfect example of Bhutanese style architecture. One of the most iconic and the most picturesque locations in Bhutan itself, this is a must-visit while there at Thimpu.

The capital Fortress of Bhutan
Image Credits: Pema Gyamtsho on Unsplash

Administrative Blocks

The other side of the Dzong is the VIP area. This place has the Throne room and the secretariat. So if you are taking a walking tour of the Dzong, then you will be directed back to the entrance itself. The Dzong bother the sides will look somewhat similar but that area, as it is an administrative block, will be of restricted entry. The building looks and elegant and one look at it, you will say that it is the governing body of Bhutan. This is due to its intricate detailing in architecture and the classic Bhutanese look.

Tips

  • Visiting the Dzong will only be possible between 4 PM and 5 PM during the weekdays. If you are visiting it at weekends then the Dzong will be open from 8 AM to 6 PM, giving you plenty of time to explore.
  • The entrance fee for the Dzong will be 300 Bhutanese rupees. Foreigners will not have to pay these fees as this will be a part of their government packages. The above-mentioned entrance fees are just for the SAARC countries.
  • Bhutan is often regarded as a chilly place to be in. As the Dzong is also an open space, you will feel chilly even inside the buildings. So be prepared for the chilly climate upon visiting the Dzong.
  • Do not wear any shorts, skirts or sleeveless shirts. Dress codes are very important if you want to enter the Dzong. This is because it is a religious place.
  • Autumn is the best time to visit the Dzong as the Tsechu festival happens at that time. It usually happens at later September or early October. Plan your visit accordingly.
Thimpu Tsechu Festival at the Dzong
Image Credits: Pema Gyamtsho on Unsplash

The Tashichho Dzong is one of the most historic places in Bhutan and you will surely be satisfied after experiencing this. Hope this article gave a good insight into the place for you. Cherish your time at Bhutan with some of the Bhutan Packages from Pickyourtrail. Also, keep following the website to know more interesting facts and contents on travel.

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