Today we toured Thimphu, essentially the capital of Bhutan, as the King’s offices and palace are here.
Here is a picture of Thimphu.
And here is then giant Buddha being built on a hill overlooking Thimphu. It is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakymuni in the world. The Chinese are doing the building. The temple in the base has yet to be built.
Wen visited some great places in town – the Kings Memorial Chorten, the National Libaray ( full of books written in Tibetan that few can read with comprehension anymore), the School of Arts and Crafts ( where we saw students doing traditional wood carving, drawing , painting, embroidery and weaving – it was fascinating), and a traditional paper factory. They make paper out of daffney bark.. I have the steps on video. We really loved the process – and the product !
And here is the BIG corner downtown. The only place there has ever been a traffic light in Bhutan. But they took it out and put the policeman back in. Seems to work better.
We also visited the post office and the main bank – Bank of Bhutan (Bob). Then after the work day is over you are allowed to enter the Thimphu Dzong.. called Tashichhhodzong. All Dzongs date from the 17th century and house both governmental and religious functions for the area. This Dzong houses the National level of both functions.
Here is a picture of the Assembly Building right across the river from the Dzong.
And here is the interior courtyard of the Dzong looking towards the King’s throne room. We could not take pictures inside there. It was fabulous. There are a 1000 Buddha paintings and 1000 Buddha statues and 3 thrones ( the last king, the current king and the religious leader), everything very ornate and beautiful.
Our revised schedule is now known. Tomorrow we will take a short hike to a temple in the area, visit the National Zoo and a Nunnery. Friday we will go to Dochu-La, a pass on the way to Punakha with views of the entire eastern range. We will take a hike there and spend the night. Saturday we catch up with our old schedule, descending into Punakha.