"01-Thimpu – The Dragon Capital" Thimphu by anilpradhanshillong

Thimphu Travel Guide: 52 reviews and 169 photos

Lungten Zampa bridge takes you across to the capital of Bhutan, Thimpu. This is the ‘bridge of prophecy’, a bridge where Phajo Drugom Shigpo, the founder of the Drukpa line of Buddhist, spent his first night.

It is located at a height of 8,000 ft (2,450 m). In 1885, a decisive battle in Thimpu paved the way for Ugyen Wangchuck, the first King of Bhutan, to hold sway over the whole country.

The first thing that strikes you is the uniformity of the façade of all houses and business establishments, built according to the Bhutanese style of architecture. The gold and red colours make the buildings all the more attractive. This uniformity has been achieved by a royal decree. So also the dress code for all citizens of Bhutan in the 1980's – a directive that led to the Bhupali movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhutanese_refugees).

Thimpu’s emergence as the capital of Bhutan is recent, only 1952. In that year a decision was made to shift the capital from the ancient capital of Punakha to Thimphu. At that point in its history, Thimpu was merely a dzong with a few houses scattered around. It became the official capital of Bhutan only in 1962. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the capital slowly developed and by the 1990’s, it had developed into a regular capital.

The best way to explore Thimpu is on foot. The main area is very compact and the street scene very intriguing, what with brightly-coloured monks, foreign and Indian tourists and the local populace adding more character to the scene.

The people are warm, friendly and fun-loving. There are plenty of hotels to suit everyone’s budget, a number of excellent restaurants and the famous Swiss Bakery. Though there is not much night-life in Thimpu, there is a disco or two here. The emphasis, like in all small towns, is on small gatherings with lifelong friends. Such parties, along with the ‘majong’ sessions may well stretch well beyond midnight.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Uniquely different
  • Cons:None whatsoever
  • In a nutshell:Exhilaratingly Wonderful!
  • Last visit to Thimphu: Jun 2013
  • Intro Updated Sep 9, 2013
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