Heritage Sites


Tongsa is an ancestral home of the Wangchuk Dynasty, the last royal family of Bhutan. The Wangchuk dynasty controlled the country from the Tongsa Dzong till the time democracy was officially incorporated in Bhutan. It also houses some of the best shopping destinations of handwoven textiles.

Bumthang Valley

This valley is considered as one of the most sacred  religious destinations of Bhutan and has some of the oldest Buddhist temples and sacred sites in its vicinity. Natural sceneries and old forts add on to its beauty.

Semtokha Dzong

This is the oldest fortress/dzong of Bhutan built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Its name is derived from Simtokha (‘Sinmo’ meaningdemoness and ‘do’ meaning stone) and is considered to be chosen to guard over a demoness that had vanished into the rock nearby. It is about seven kilometers away from the main Thimpu town and now houses the School for Buddhist Studies.

Punakha Dzong

Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness) or Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 and is beautifully located between  the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) chhu (river). Many stories and myths are associated with this dzong. It was the capital of Bhtan till 1955 and the establishment of Wangchuk dynasty on 17th December 1907 took place here. The first National Assembly was also held in this Dzong in 1953 and it continues to be the winter residence of  Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body. The war materials captured during the Tibetan invasion are kept in this dzong.


Bhutan Information Brochure. Tourism Council of Bhutan. 2008.