Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa constructed Tashichho Dzong in 1216 AD. Tashichho Dzong has been the center of the government since 1952. It is also known as the "fortress of the glorious religion."
Currently, it houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat, and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are located in buildings nearby.
The Dzong lies on the banks of the Wang Chhu River near Thimphu town. It is an astonishingly enormous structure adjacent to well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens. The summer residence of His Holiness lies in the southeast, and the National Assembly is located in SAARC building on the other end of the river. King is also the Chief Abbot of the religious body.
Dzong displays a unique and specific construction style of Tibet, Bhutan, and some areas of China. High exterior walls and its blend with organizational offices, temples, monks’ and multifaceted courtyards reflect the gigantic architecture.
The adjacent hills, gardens, and greens amplify the magnetism of the Tashichho Dzong.
The basic construction features two-stories with four three-storied towers. Three-tiered beautiful golden rooftops cap these towers.
Use is the broad central tower in the center of the building. During the renovation, the use was not worked upon.
The monks of Thimphu and Punakha and Bhutan’s spiritual leader Je Khenpo stay here during summer.
Tashicho Dzong has two main entrances. One takes you to the administrative section in the south; another leads to the north's monastic quarter. In the large open-air courtyard, the dances of the annual tsechu festival are performed in September. As a tradition, at the climax of the tsechu, the Dzong's huge Sangay Tsokhorsum Thondrol(religious picture) is unfurled.
The Sangay Tsokhorsum Thondrol displays the Buddha Sakyamuni and his disciples. Bhutan's spiritual leader Je-Khenpo and the monks of both Thimphu and Punakha reside here during summer.
In 1641, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal acquired and realized that it is too minuscule and basic. So, he later built the lower Dzong. Fire decimated in 1771 and destroyed the first Dzong, and he moved everything to the lower Dzong.
The new structure was later extended a few times throughout the years. An earthquake damaged it in 1897 and revamped in 1902.
It was harmed during a seismic tremor in 1897 and revamped in 1902. Lord Jigme Dorji Wangchuck had it renovated and enlarged over five years after moving the capital to Thimphu in 1952.
The capital was shifted from Punakha to Thimphu in 1962. The third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, began a five-year project to renovate in the traditional style.
April to October and September to November are the ideal months to visit the Tashichho Dzong.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
Tashichho Dzong Festival-
Tashichho Dzong celebrates the Thimphu Tsechu festival for three consecutive days annually. People come in droves to perform mask dances and folk dances. Folk dances are a way to narrate religious tales.
Cymbals and drums are the only musical instrument during the festival. This festival attempts to honor Guru Rinpoche or Padma Sambhawa for introducing the tantric rites of Buddhism to the Himalayan Kingdoms. Display of a colorful cloth made Thangka (scroll) that bear images of Guru Rinpoche and Buddha mark the end of the festival.
Dzong is decorated with light after the daylights go off. Visitors come in droves during the sunset because the area glitters and shines in the evening. The whole palace, temple, and windows of the king's residence are bedecked with lights. Shutterbugs have numerous opportunities for clicking photographs.