Thimpu Dzong

The capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan, is located in a valley surrounded by hills on all sides. It continues to grow along several of the slopes. It also has a lot of places where you can immerse yourself in the culture of the country. It is also relatively more modern looking than Paro.

The drive in from Paro was quite scenic, most of the way along rivers. We stopped and took a break at Chuzzom, the confluence of 2 major rivers.

After just over an hour we reached Thimphu, and headed over to Archery grounds to watch several masters practice their art. While people have adopted modern graphite bows, they have also upgraded the challenge by putting targets farther away. Its quite a spectacle to watch, both teams taunt each other, celebrate successful hits on target with little dances. 

Short video of archers celebrating a successful round.

After checking into the hotel, we spent some time strolling around the city. I also had the opportunity to visit a very old bookshop and get a called Treasures of the Thunder Dragon book written by a member of the Royal Family about their country, its unique history and culture. Dinner was at a pizza joint called the Seasons. They also have amazing desert. 

The next day we had two major places to visit, Thimphu Dzong and the Thimphu Market. The market is a wonderful place to see the local handicrafts and is a photographer's dream.

Our visit to the Thimphu Dzong was well timed, as we got to witness the daily flag hoisting ceremony and meet the Abbot of Thimphu region. The flag hoisting is always preceded by prayers and blessing of the flag, after which the guard march the flag out and hoist it at the entrance to the Dzong.

Honour guard walking the flag out for hoisting

Another place to visit in Thimphu is the Memorial Chorten. It was built to commemorate the Third King of Bhutan, who wanted a symbol that represents the mind of Buddha.

Memorial Chorten through a looking glass

An outer building at the Memorial Chorten, Thimphu

There are a lot of other things to see and do in Thimphu, you can also see more of my pictures of Bhutan at Google+

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