Paro (Altitude: 7,000 ft)
This beautiful valley is home to many of the Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and temples. The following are the some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.
- Drugyel Dzong: On a clear day you can see the Mount Jumolhari from the village below the Dzong.
- Rimpong Dzong: This “fortress of the heap of Jewels” is the venue for the annual Paro Teschu held every spring.
- Ta Dzong: Built as a watch tower, the Ta Dzong has been turned into the national museum.
- Taktsang Monastery: The Taksang “Tiger’s Lair” is perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900 m above the Paro valley. The hike up to the monastery takes about 3 -4 hours.
- Kyichu Lhakhang: This monastery dates back to the 7th century and is one of the oldest and most sacred.
Thimphu (Altitude: 7000 ft)
Thimphu is a bustling town on the banks of the Thimphu Chhu and set gloriously in the hills of the Thimphu valley, Bhutan’s only golf course, a nine-hole circuit, is situated next to the magnificent Tashichhoe Dzong.
- The “Fortress of the glorious religion” houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monk body.
- Memorial Chorten: This stupa wasbuilt in 1974 by the mother of the Third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji wangckuck in memory of her son.
- Semtokha Dzong : The oldest fortress in the Kingdom. The dzong now is the institute for Language and Culture.
- The Institute for zorig Chusum: The institute of 13 traditional arts and crafts.
- National Library: Contains Bhutan’ history in the form of religion and historical literature.
- The Folk Heritage Museum: The museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in Thimphu valley.
- The Institute of Traditional Medicine: Has the traditional medicine production unit, the treatment hospital and the school.
Punakha (Altitude 4420 ft)
Punahka served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. Ti is the winter seat of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the monk body.
- Druk Wangyal Chortens at Dochula: On the way to Punakha is a Dochula pass from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range can be seen, specially on the clear winter days. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortes- a 108 stupabuilt by the eldest Queen.
- Punakha Dzong: I t was built by the Zhabdrung in 1637. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu.
- Chimmi Lhakhang: The “Temple of fertility.”
Wangdiphodrang (Altitude 4430 ft)
The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving.
- Gangtey Goenpa/Phobjikha: well known as the winter home for the black necked cranes.
Trongsa (Altitude 7600 ft)
Trongsa forms the central hub of the kingdom and were launched.
- Trongsa dzong: Built in 1648, the ancestral home of the Royal Family. All Kings hold the post of trongsa Penlop prior to being crowned as King.
- Ta Dzong: Perched above the Trongsa dzong,
Bumthang (Altitude 8,530 – 13,125ft)
The valley is also famous for its production of honey, cheese, apple juice, wine, cider and the yathra- woolen materials that has been multiple uses.
- Jambay Lhakhang: built in 8th century by King Songtsen Goenpo to subdue evil spirit in the Himalayan region.
- Kurje Lhakhang: It is dedicated to the saint Guru Padmasambhava.
- Tamshing Lhakhing: It is built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa.
- Jakar dzong: The Bumthang Tsechu is held mostly in the night and is said to bring fertility to any women wanting a child.
- Mebar Tsho: Lake of burning fire.
Mongar (Altitude 5,575ft)
The journey from Bunthang to Mongar is one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas crossing the 3,800 m high pass Thrumshingla pass.
Trashigang (altitude 3,775ft)
This is the largest district in Bhutan and it lies in the Far East on the banks of the river Gamri Chu.
Trashiyangtse (Altitude 6000ft)
This is the eastern most part of Bhutan and borders to Arunachal Pradesh in India.