Bhutan is a tiny blocked-in country tucked away in the eastern Himalayas and quite compactly squeezed in-between India and China. Located at the boundary of the Indian and Eurasian plates, the land underfoot is constantly on the move, the country is awash with any number of stunning religious buildings. The country does not attract huge numbers of visitors, as a lot of travelers are unaware where Bhutan is located but many of those who do venture here are attracted by the opportunity to visit the numerous Dzongs (fort-monastery), Goembas (Buddhist monastery) and Lhakhangs (‘God houses’).
Dzongs throughout Bhutan serves as the administrative, religious, military and social centers under one roof. The rooms inside the Dzongs are allocated as half portion allotted to the administrative functions (such as an office of the regional governors) and other half allotted the monks or Lama ’s Dzongpens (dzong lords)for the religious functions, temple space, and space for the monks to stay. This particular functioning is being followed from past many years, they have evolved to reflect the duality of powers between the religious and cultural activity as well as regional administrative branches of government. If we talk about socializing then all the lively festivals are performed here at various times of the year.
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List of our top 5 Dzongs of Bhutan:
This Dzong was built in 1648; Trongsa Dzong is geographically located in Trongsa Dzongkhag (district) in the middle of the country on what was once the only route between the east and west of Bhutan. This dzong was regarded as crucially important in controlling the kingdom; its size and situation reflect this worship as it sits at the top an edge high above the roaring Mangde Chhu (river) and the town itself. Trongsa Dzong proudly is the most impressive locations in the country with incredible views of the surrounding valleys and a sheer drop to the south hides part of the ridge in the low-lying cloud.
Lhuentse Dzong is Located in the less visited eastern region of the country, Lhuentse Dzong sits at the end of the narrow Kuri Chhu valley at the top of a rocky peninsula with sheer hillsides. The area is of the Bhutanese Royal Family from the ancestral times and an important center for traditional weaving – much of the country’s most impressive weaving is produced here. The dzong is home to a small number of monks and as it has very few visitors so it tends to be little laid back as compared to other larger dzongs making for a more unhurried visit.
Jakar Dzong was formerly built as a monastery in 1549 and was once the seat of the first king of Bhutan. Extended into a dzong in 1667, it is located high above the charming Chokhor Valley which is often referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’ with clear views of the lush valley floor. Amusingly the dzong’s site was chosen by a group of Lamas in the area who were in search of a suitable location for a new dzong. Once the Lamas was seated near the valley, then sooner after seeing a single white bird circling overhead and then settled on the top of a nearby hill, thus Lamas regarded as a good omen in the site hence confirmed the site: this story also spawned its unofficial name as the ‘Castle of the White Bird’.
Paro is not just home to the only international airport in Bhutan but also boasts the impressive Paro Dzong (formal name: Rinpung Dzong) which is generally regarded as offering some of the best examples of Bhutanese architecture and sculptures in the country. Sitting boastfully on the bank of the Paro Chhu (river) the dzong is accessed by crossing a traditional cantilevered bridge and the structure is visible from most parts of the valley. Bordering to the dzong is the national museum, or Ta Dzong, which was originally built as a watchtower and now houses many Bhutanese artifacts and some marvelous religious Thangkhas. The dzong is also the site of the colorful energetic Paro tsechu and which is seized in spring and thus performs the most popular festivals in the country attracting people from different locations to enjoy the masked dances performed by monks.
Punakha Dzong is located in Punakha district which was once a capital of Bhutan. This Dzong is the largest Dzong of Bhutan and can be seen from anywhere in Punakha. It sits at the conjunction of the mother and Father Rivers, Mo Chhu and Po Chhu, in the plentiful Punakha Valley. It was Built in 1637, the Dzong is the winter residence of the central body of monks who move down from northern locations to the warmer climatic location of the south to wait until the winter cold.
Experience the ‘Top 5 Dzongs‘ for yourself on your trip to Bhutan with Druk Explore. We promise you, we will make your journey a tranquil but a fascinating one. We welcome you to Bhutan’s energizing collection of Bhutan tour packages and information on this country! We wish that our website will help you make the best choice for the ultimate holiday experience.