In & around Thimpu, Bhutan

To enjoy a lovely view of the Thimphu Valley, take a trip to Buddha Point where a magnificent bronze statue of a 51-foot-high seated Buddha awaits you. Pay your respects and marvel at the largest statue in the country as you walk around the place. 

An impressive structure with large golden Bhutanese-style spires is the seat of the national government, and also houses the national library, throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan and the nation’s largest monastery.

Marvel at the exquisite paintings and sculptures at the National Memorial Chorten, an impressive monument dedicated to Tantric Buddhism. Gain insights into Buddhist philosophy here, reflecting on the peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities. 

About 5 km from Thimphu, Simtokha Dzong is known as the first Dzong built in Bhutan. Stroll through the oldest dzong in Thimphu, also known as the gateway to Thimphu Valley. Marvel at the beautiful frescos and over 300 finely worked slate carvings. 

This is a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan that looks incidentally like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas.

This fortress-like temple is the oldest in the Thimphu Valley and is situated atop a small ridge overlooking Thimphu. It is considered to be the spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley as parents bring their new-borns here to get auspicious names for them and to get them blessed by the protector deity Tamdrin. 

Visit Cheri Goemba, one of the most important landmarks of Thimphu and also Bhutan’s first monastery, dating back to 1620. There are around 30 or so monks staying here at any time for the standard three years, three months and three days. The Cheri Goemba holds great historical and religious significance and the beauty and tranquillity here is boundless.

Located about 15 kilometres from Thimphu and inaugurated in 1999, this is fast becoming a popular weekend spot for people looking for a brief jaunt out of the confines of the city. With a collection of 500 species of plants, the botanical garden is ideal for relaxation and unwinding. Enjoy a family outing or simply stroll around.

A 40-minute uphill drive from Thimphu, Dochu La Pass is hard to miss with its series of prayer flags and a concentration of 108 chortens , built in the memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India. Enjoy breath-taking views of the Himalayan ranges from this high point.