Introduction to Thimphu the capital of Bhutan:- Altitude 2,320 meters: Thimphu is a bustling town in the banks of the Thimphu Chhu and set gloriously in the hills of the Thimphu valley. It is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family, the Royal Government and to several foreign missions and development projects. Thimphu has a population of approximately 100,000 people. Must See in Thimphu
Thimphu Dzong officially know as the Tashichhodzong was and is the Administrative hub of the Royal Government of Bhutan. Tashichhoedzong in Dzongkha (the language of Bhutan)means the “Fortress of the glorious religion”houses the throne room of His Majesty the 5th King of Bhutan, the main secretariat building and the central monk body. Visitors are allowed only after office hours in summer after 5:30pm and in winter after 4:30pm. (31 minutes comfortable walk from Hotel Norbuling)
Buddha Statue officially called Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue, overlooking Thimphu city. It is one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters). In the base of the statue it will house over 100,000 (one hundred thousand) smaller Buddha statues each of which, like the Buddha Dordenma itself will be made of bronze and gilded in gold. (1 hr comfortable walk from Hotel Norbuling or 13 minutes by car from Hotel Norbuling)
Changlimithang Archery Ground (One of the only places in Bhutan where Night Archery is played in Bhutan). Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. Most men play the sport. The equipments used today can range from traditional bows and arrows made of bamboo and cane to bows made of space age carbon fibers material. There are two targets roughly 140 meters on 2 sides of a field and the target is only about 10 inches by 35 inches tall. It is an amazing site to see people hit targets which barely can be seen by the naked eyes. This is a sight which can only be seen in Bhutan and a must for all guest. (1 Minutes walk from Hotel Norbuling)
The Memorial Chorten, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, is a chorten (temple) in Thimphu located on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the city near the main roundabout and Indian military hospital. The chorten, built in 1974 to honour the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928–1972), is a prominent landmark in the city with its golden spires and bells (7 Minutes comfortable walk from the Hotel Norbuling)
The Folk Heritage home museum gives you a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle, in addition to artifacts from rural households; it also displays an impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment’s. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children. (26 minutes walk from the Hotel Norbuling)
The Simtokha Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built on a projecting ridge with deep gullies separating it from the main hill. Its strategic position over looks and commands the entire Thimphu valley. It is approximately five kilometers south of Thimphu Town, on the road to Paro and Punakha/Wangdiphodrang. (It is 15 minutes drive from Hotel Norbuling)
The Centenary Farmers Market is located below the main town, near the Wangchhu river. Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest market for farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market every weekend. The market is normally open from Friday to Sunday. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a hot spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life. Just across a cantilever footbridge, Kuendeyling Bazaam, to the west bank is a collection of stalls selling clothing, textiles and handicrafts. It’s a great place to explore for handicraft and trinkets. (It is 13 minutes walk from the Hotel Norbuling)
Zorig Chusum Institute is also commonly known as ‘the painting school’, operates four- to six-year courses that provide instruction in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts. Students specialise in painting (furniture, thangka s – painted religious pictures, usually on canvas), woodcarving (masks, statues, bowls), embroidery (hangings, boots, clothes) or statue-making (clay). You can go to the Institute and watch the students learn the 13 arts of Bhutan. (25 minutes walk from Hotel Norbuling)
The local mythology related to declaring takin as the National Animal of Bhutan is dated to the 15th century. A Tibetan saint by the name Drukpa Kinley, popularly called by the epithet “The Divine Madman” is credited with creating the takin with unique features. The saint is said to have taken the head of the goat and fixed it to the skeleton of the cow creating a live animal, which had the head of the goat and the body of the cow. The animal was then given the name dong gyem tsey (takin). Because of this magical creation with high religious connotation, the animal has been adopted as the National Animal of Bhutan.
The Takin Preserve came to be established in the Mothithang neighborhood. An area of 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) was demarcated and fenced for the preserve. The preserve also holds a few samber and barking deer. ( 47 min walk or 12 min by car from Hotel Norbuling)
Dochula pass is located 23 km from Thimphu town on the way to Punakha and Wandiphodrang valley. The pass on a clear day offers a magnificent view of the snow.
The pass is also very popular picnic spot with the locals as there are 108 chortens/stupas and the Druk Wangyel Chorten (temple). The Druk Wangyel Chorten was commissioned by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo. The chorten was built in honour of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck. (23 minute drive from Hotel Norbuling)