Altitude : 2300m/7545ft
The Vanguard of the Warriors – Trongsa is located near the center of Bhutan and was considered crucial to controlling the kingdom in earlier years due to its strategic position. This town is situated on a steep ridge and offers spectacular views of the deep valleys surrounding it. The various hotels, guesthouses and restaurants all offer stunning views from their balconies.
Places To See
Of the many festivals held in various parts of Trongsa, the grandest is the three day annual Tshechu. This festival bring together people from all walks of life and falls sometime in the month of December. In addition to traditional mask dances, visitors can witness the unfurling of the sacred Thongdrol and receive blessings from high-ranking monks. People also receive blessings from the sacred Nangtens that is opened during the last day of the Tshechu.
En route to Trongsa is Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend says that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.
Kuenga Rabten Palace
Kuenga Rabten Palace was the winter residence of the second King Jigme Wangchuck is now looked after by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. The excursion to this palace offers further insights into the early days of Bhutan’s monarchy. Reaching to Kuenga Rabten takes about an hour from Trongsa and passes through open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, so there is much of interest to observe in the fields and in the villages.
Thruepang Palace is a two storied simple palace. It is the birthplace of our Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. He spent most of his early childhood days here.
Trongsa also boasts an impressive museum housed in Ta Dzong, the watchtower of Trongsa. The museum is dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty and is a good place to learn about the history of the kingdom and the significance of Trongsa in it. As of date the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum of the nation.
This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling.
Built in 1648, Trongsa Dzong was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All of Bhutan’s kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (Governor) prior to ascending the throne. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong’s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country from here.