Thimphu Bhutan Tourism
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and 3rd highest capital city in the world. With population over 100000 thimphu from all walks of life. Sprawled over a valley in western central Bhutan, the capital city of Thimphu is famous for its numerous Buddhist sites, mountainous Himalayan landscape, rich culture, and pious locales. In Thimpu, you can explore blue alpine forests and peaceful lakes up to Jili Dzong via Druk Path Trek, admire cave murals at the 800-year old Changangkha Lhakhang Temple, and buy kukri knives and traditional garments at Weekend Handicrafts Market.
Thimphu is the stronghold of Bhutanese art, history and architecture. Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu’s most massive monastery, government palace and fortress, is blessed with ancient Ta-dzong architecture and gold-leaf roofs. National Memorial Chorten, devoted to World Peace, is a whitewashed monument with a gold spire. Another masterpiece is Thimphu’s 51-metre-tall gold-plated Buddha Dordenma statue. Thimphu’s other important attractions include Gangtey Monastery, National Bhutan Library, Royal Botanical Garden, Simtokha Dzong, and National Folk Heritage Museum.
On your Thimphu tour, you can also climb the 9,400-feet-tall Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower for panoramic city views, visit Jungshi Paper Factory to learn how paper is made traditionally, go on exciting safaris of Motithang Takin Reserve Forest and Tango Goemba and Deer Park, relish beef noodles at Norling Market’s eateries, and cruise along the scenic Wang Chu river.
The Best Time to Visit Thimphu
October and November are months of autumn which are closely followed by a chilly winter. September to November: The month of September marks the beginning of autumn in Thimphu and is considered one of the best times to visit the city. Visitors are greeted with clear skies and pleasant weather. Thimphu is usually cold in winter and warm in summer but spring and Autumn is the best time to explore the city.
Top Places to visit in Thimphu
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and the most populated in the country with about 100000 living in the city, Thimphu has many interesting places to visit. Here we have listed the 30 best places to visit while in Thimphu.
Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist Monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan, on the western bank of the Wang Chu. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk Desi (or “Deb Raja”), the head of Bhutan’s civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country. In old British documents, it is known as Tassisudon.
It was built by the first Dharma Raja, who also founded the Lho-drukpa sect of Buddhism, which has remained the distinctive sect of Bhutan. The correct transliteration of the vernacular name—Bkrashis-chhos-rdzong, meaning “the fortress of auspicious doctrine”—is, according to Graham Sandberg, Tashichhoidzong.
The main structure of the whitewashed building is two-storied with three-storied towers at each of the four corners topped by triple-tiered golden roofs. There is also a large central tower or utse. This is a massive Fortress in Thimphu with a beautiful paddy field around the Dzongs.
Folk Heritage Museam
Welcome to the Folk Heritage Museum located in Kawajangsa, in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu. The Folk Heritage Museum is within the walking distance of the National Library of Bhutan and the National Institute for zorig choesum (13 Traditional Arts). The Folk Heritage Museum dedicates itself to connecting people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs, and documentation of Bhutanese rural life. The Museum will strive to disseminate the rich cultural heritage across generations by preserving it in different forms. Read More
Simply Bhutan Museam
Simply Bhutan is an interactive ‘living’ museum that gives a quick introduction to various aspects of traditional life in Bhutan. Visitors are greeted with a shot of local arra (rice spirit), before being guided through mocked-up village scenes. Along the way, you can dress up in traditional clothes, try out archery and hear songs sung by Bhutanese women as they build houses out of rammed earth. It’s touristy, but a good family experience.
There are also souvenir stalls, and a restaurant serving Bhutanese set meals for Nu 700.
Largest Bhudha Statue
ATOP A HILL IN THIMPHU, the capital and largest city of Bhutan, is a massive, golden Buddha sitting atop a gilded meditation hall. But the monument holds an invisible secret: Unbeknownst to many people viewing the statue, they aren’t actually looking at one Buddha, they’re looking at 125,000 of them.
Inside of Thimphu’s 169 foot Buddha Dordenma statue, there are 125,000 miniature Buddhas encapsulated inside of its enlightened bronze chest, ranging from 8 to 12 inches tall. This means that in Thimphu, which has a population of around 100,000, there are more Buddhas than there are human beings. Like the large Buddha, these thousands of miniature Buddhas are also gilded and made of bronze, a major reason that the statue cost almost $100 million to build when it was constructed in 2015 to honor the 60th birthday of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan.
The statue also fulfils two prophecies. The first, foreseen by yogi Sonam Sangpo, is that a Buddhist statue would be built in the region to “bestow blessings, peace, and happiness to the whole world.” In addition, the statue is said to have been mentioned by Guru Padmasambhava, widely referred to as the “second Buddha,” in the eighth century. This statue kills two birds with one stone by fulfilling both prophecies in a glimmering fashion.
Royal Textile Museam
Royal Textile Museam: The Bhutan Textile Museum or the National Textile Museum is a national textiles museum in Thimphu, Bhutan, located near the National Library of Bhutan. It is operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. The royal textile academy of bhutan is one of the nation’s first institutions dedicated to the conservation and exhibition of textiles, and the various international techniques used to create them. The academy serves as an educational space by which trainees learn weaving traditions and techniques, how to dye their yarn, and basic business practices such as bookkeeping. It’s also a conservation center used to restore precious artifacts from monasteries all over Bhutan, and a museum that hosts a rotating program of exhibitions relating to the textile arts.
Since its inception, the Royal Textile Academy has since expanded to include offices and partnered with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to further the organization’s mission to preserve this vital element of Bhutanese art and history.
Takin Preservation Center
Takin Preservation Center: STRANGE MUSKOX-LOOKING CREATURES ROAM WITHIN the trees in Bhutan s capital city. The hoofed beasts, which look like a mishmash of cows and goats, are held in extremely high esteem.The takin is a rare type of goat-antelope living in the Eastern Himalayas. The four subspecies of the takin live in high altitudes throughout Bhutan, Northeast India, Northwest Myanmar, and the Chinese section of the Himalaya.>The takin found at the Motithang Takin Preserve were once part of a small zoo. But when the King of Bhutan declared it was improper for Buddhist country to keep animals in such confinement, the big beasts were set free. Yet they didn’t wander far.The freed takin, which at this point were used to humans, preferred to converge within Thimphu. The Motithang Takin Preserve was created to shelter the capital city’s four-legged residents. Now, the takin lives within 8.4 acres of carefully managed forest. The Bhutanese authorities are particularly attentive to the health and well-being of the takin due to its status as the national animal. Read More
Jungshina Handmade Paper Facotory
Tango Monastery: Tango Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located 14 kilometers (8.7mi) north of Bhutan’s capital city, near Cheri Mountain. It was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo (1184? – 1251?) in the 13th century and built in its present form by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler in 1688. In 1616, the Tibetan lama Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal meditated in its cave. The self-emanated form of the wrathful Hayagriva is deified in the monastery. It belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan. Tango Monastery is built in the dzong fashion and has a characteristic curved (semi-circular) outside wall and a prominent central tower with recesses. It covers the caves where originally meditation and miracles were performed by saints from the 12th century onwards. Behind the series of prayer wheels are engraved slates. Inside the courtyard is a gallery, illustrating the leaders of the Drukpa Kagyupa lineage. Read More
National Institute of Zorig Chusum
Voluntary Artist Studio
Changlimithang Archery Ground
Thangthong Dewachen Nunnery is a Buddhist monastery in the small Himalayan country of Bhutan. The nunnery is located in Zilukha (Thimphu District) overlooking Tashichodzong and is a few minutes’ drive from the town. It is popularly known as the Zilukha Anim Dratshang. It was built in 1976 by the 16th emanation of Thangtong Gyalpo, Drubthob Rikey Jadrel. Currently, the nunnery is home to about 60 nuns.Note: The spelling of “Thangthong” might alternatively appear as “Thangtong” in different articles and websites
The people of Bhutan are great believers of Astrology. Even today, the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Bhutan cannot imagine making an important decision without consulting an astrologer – be it building a house, setting up a business or choosing a life partner. Even the royalty did not dare to ignore it. The coronation of the present king was postponed for nearly two years because the court astrologers advised it. They all waited for the most auspicious time to start a new journey that would lead to a happy and prosperous kingdom. And while talking about Astrology in Bhutan, Bhutan’s most important landmark is the Pangri Zampa Monastery. It is also the Royal College of Astrology in the Kingdom, where students come to learn astrology in a 6-year course. The head astrologer of the kingdom also resides here.
Bhutan Postal Museam
The Bhutan Postal Museum was established in 2015 on 7th November to celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of The Fourth King of Bhutan His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The attainment of the sixty is auspicious in Bhutan, and it is referred to as the completion of one Rabjung.The postal museum narrates the story of the evolution of communication, transportation and postal services in Bhutan through different phase of the changing time. The story is told through the collection of various anecdotes, artifacts and the rich assortment of stamps the country has produced over the years.The museum comprises of five galleries. There is also an area for multimedia where documentaries related to postal system are screened.Adjacent to the Postal Museum is the Philately shop, which specializes in personalized stamps. This shop will develop the stamp with your own photos, and one can literally send post cards using these photo stamps of yours. There are traditional Bhutanese handmade souvenirs in this shop too.The museum is located on the ground floor of the Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited Head Quarter Building in the heart of Thimphu City. The museum is rich in wisdom, and walking the galleries will have us shower with ultimate coverage of entire Bhutan History.
Royal Botanical Garden
The Royal Botanical Garden, Serbithang was established in 1999 under National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Serbitang as an ex-situ plant conservation area and to commemorate the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the 4th King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck.The primary functions of the Royal Botanical Garden are to:
i. Serve as the living repository of plant genetic diversity for ex situ conservation and research.
ii. Serve as a rescue centre for rare and threatened native floral species (prioritized native floral species).
iii. Promote propagation of prioritized native plants species to reduce pressures on collection from the wild and to ensure their sustainable use.
iv. Implement mass propagation of prioritized native flora for restorations programs and commercialization to encourage house hold cultivation and conservation.
v. Provide technical services and training in plant propagation techniques to community-based groups and other interested stakeholders.
vi. Provide technical service in community beautification and greening projects.
vii. Implement targeted biodiversity education programs.
viii. Promote and manage garden volunteer programs.
ix. Participate in floral diversity documentation programs.
x. Promote regional and international linkages for effective conservation and management of native plant species.
High Quality Handicraft Emporium
High quality Thangka Painting handicraft is privately owned shop located 10 minute drive from the Thimphu town. You can witness the live painting by the employees there and it is alos one way of preserving the local culture of painting. You get varieties of Thangka painting from cheap to most expensive painting.
Kuensel Phodrang marks your entry in the quaint town of Thimphu. It is also known as the Buddha Point which was the palace of the thirteenth Druk, Sherab Wangchuck that houses the Shakyamuni Buddha. In the centre, a grand statue of Buddha called Buddha Dordenma is placed, which is considered sacred and often visited by tourists. The hundreds of small statues are also a mesmerizing sight to watch and appreciate Buddhism. This glorious Buddha statue can be seen from any corner of the city and is one of the most significant attractions in Thimphu.
Thimphu Weather and Climate
Best Things to do in Thimphu
Sightseeing: Sightseeing in Thimphu is not complete without visiting the magnificent site of ‘Buddha Dordenma’. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the beautiful city of Thimphu, it is considered the world’s largest seating gilded Buddha and attracts uncountable visitors seeking peace and spirituality. ‘National Memorial Chorten’ is yet another place must visit when in the capital city. Focus of daily worship for the Bhutanese, it is always abuzz with religious activity. Early morning is the best time to visit here and see the elderly people do kora and light butter lamps.
Historical tours: Some of the historical and heritage tours you can do in thimphu are visit to Textile museam to know about Thimphus cloth culture, Visit Simtokha Dzong and Tashichhodzong to know about Architecture and Farm house for heritage tours. Visiting museams and Famr house will give you authentic Bhutanese experience.
Spiritual tours: Thimphu is full of monastery and among all Tango and Cheri is best for spiritual tours. If you are Lucky you will get the opportunity to meet the head of lama and receive blessings. If time permits the lama may give you sermon to the guest as well.
Enjoy the nightlife at Mojo Park: There are many nightlife centre and among them, Mojo Park is popular with tourists. Here they play western music to meet the need of the clients. The location is perfect for those living in the city.
Try archery at Simply Bhutan: If you visit simply Bhutan Museam you can try archery with local bow and arrow. Its the best opportunity to experience.
Attend concerts at Clock Tower Square: This is the happening place in Thimphu. All major concerts and activities happens here at clocktower.
Where to eat in Thimphu?
There are many good restaurant in Thimphu to spend your time in eating. It depends upon whether you are vegetarian or Non veg. Though restaurant provide both veg and Non veg items here are few good restaurant we recommend for you to visit while in Thimphu.
Zombola: Awesome food, serves local cuisine and local alcohol. The staff is great and service is fast. You would be surprised with the bill which wouldn’t hurt your wallets. The potato momos are very good here
Ambient Café: Located right in the middle of town ambient café is one of the popular restaurant visited by the tourist. The restaurant offer coffee and selection of cookies, desserts Prices: 1-2 USD for coffee with nice Ambience: Best part of it, really cosy and nice place, especially if you want to come and read sth, work on your laptop or have a convo with your friend. Not recommended for big groups, a bit of quiet place, no need to spoil the ambience.
Russian Café: Its just in the middle of town. The café offers the best of Russian coffee and quick snacks.
Babesa Village Restaurant: The restaurant is beautiful designed in authentic Bhutanese style. The traditional building was renovated into modern amenities without changing the exterior giving you perfect sense of Bhutanese essence. They offer all kinds of Bhutanese delicacies from all around the country.
Chig-Ja-Gya at Taj Tashi: This is the restaurant inside Taj tashi Hotel. They offer best of Bhutanese delicaies, Indian cuisine and all continental foods.
Burgers Point: This is the cheap and the best way to fill your hungry belly with yummy burgers. Its located right beside the hongkong market in the city.
Chula for special Indian Dish: For indian food lovers Chula is the best option. You get all kinds of Indian Cuisine.
The Spice for Pure vegetarian dish: If you are the lover of spicy Indian foods, The spice is right place for you. They have absolutely tasty Dosa, Samocha chat and chat available in their menu.
Yangkee Restaurant for authentic Bhutanese Dish: People from all walks of life gather here for authentic Bhutanese taste. It is own by the locals and specialized in local dishes. The restautant is best for meat lovers.
How to reach Thimphu?
Thimphu is the fourth highest capital in the world. Surrounded by lush green valleys, it is the mini-metropolis of Bhutan. In order to reach Thimphu, one can either travel via road or take a flight. Flying to Paro from India is the most convenient way to reach Thimphu, while people seeking adventure can do a road trip via Sikkim, West Bengal and Assam.
By Air: Only two local airlines operates in Bhutan and they are Druk Air and Bhutanairlines. If you plan to tour Thimphu you need to land at Paro International airport.
However, since this airport has some rigid guidelines and limitations, you can take a flight to this only international Bhutanese airport from a selected range of Indian airports.
You can reach Thimphu from Singapore(Changi airport), Delhi Airport, Kathamndu, Bangkok, Bagdogra, and Kolkatta. These places have a direct flights to Paro International airport from where you can reach Thimphu Bhutan. Upon arrival at the airport, you can take a roadway journey from Paro to reach Thimphu and takes about 1 hour.
Can we travel Thimphu by Train?
Thimphu don’t have train service and nearest train is in New Jalpaiguri, New Alipurduar, Siliguri, and Hasimara. This are some of the nearest railway stations to reach Thimphu by train. From these stations, you can take a drive to Jaigaon town in Alipurduar district, and enter Bhutan via Phuentsholing town. From Phuentsholing, you can further drive to reach Thimphu. This route is very long and takes about 6 hours to reach Thimphu from Phuntsholing. You need to stay over night at Phuntsholing.
Travelling By Road to reach Thimphu.
Thimphu can be reached by road only from India. You can either enter via Jaigoan(West Bengal), Assam from Gaylegphu or from Guwahati in Samdrupjongkhar.
The town of Jaigaon (West Bengal) shares its border with Phuentsholing town of Bhutan and this is the most popular route if you are travelling by road. Once you acquire your Bhutanese Visa, you can make your way to Thimphu via Phuentsholing by local Bhutanese buses or by hiring a private cab.
Shopping in Thimphu
FAQ about Thimphu
Why is Thimphu Famouse?
What is Thimphu famous for? Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is known for its spectacular scenery and rich culture. It is also the largest city in the country. The spectacular 15th-century Tango Gompa is also the most sought-after site in all Bhutan.
Is Thimphu worth visiting?
It is quite expensive for tourist. But it is very nice small country with unique and amazing nature, rich national heritage and deep Buddhist culture. It can’t afford to have mass tourism. So even Bhutan is expensive let come there and at least in this way donate to the sustainable development of this small country.
What Is Thimphu famouse for?
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is known for its spectacular scenery and rich culture. It is also the largest city in the country. The spectacular 15th century Tango Gompa is also the most sought after site in all of Bhutan.