THIMPU (7,500 ft)

The modern capital of Bhutan, lies at an elevation of 2300m in a valley traversed by the Wang Chu (river). It is the home to civil servants, expatriates and the monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. It is also an ideal spot for day walks. Phajoding monastery is a 4 hrs hike from the Moti Thang area, Tango & Cheri monasteries are also another 3/4hrs hike from the Capital or all the way to the top of telegraph hill where thousands of prayer flags obscure the view over Thimphu. 

Memorial Chorten: This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of the late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The painting and images inside the monument provide a rare sight into Buddhist philosophy. 
Tashichho Dzong (Thimpu Dzong): It was initially built in the 17th century and was rebuilt in early 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Tashichho Dzong is the main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His majesty and a summer residence of the central monk body. It is open to visitor during Thimpu festival and when the monk body moves to their winter home in Punakha. 

Changangkha temple: Lama Phajo Drigom built it in the 15 century. It lies on a hilltop commanding the Thimpu valley. The temple has very old scriptures and Thankas. The main deity of the temple is Avalokiteshvara, God of compassion. 

Simtokha Dzong: 

Indigenous Hospital: since Bhutan has its own brand of Himalayan medicine, the Government has given equal emphasis to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicine is prepared here. The old art of healing like acupuncture is still practiced today. 

National Library: The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National library. Beside thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags. 

Painting School: It is the place, where young children learn the ancient art of paintings. One can actually see students at work. Education is free for the students. These children after passing out, are sent to different districts in the country to apply the same art form of traditional paintings in their areas, which is one reason that Bhutanese houses have almost the same type of colour and design. 

Vegetable Market: Every Saturday & Sunday most of the Thimpu’s population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held. This is the only time in the week when fresh vegetables are available. 
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