Places and Sights of Bhutan
Parp is a town and seat of Paro District in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is home to Paro Airport, Bhutan's only international airport. Along the main street there is a complex of traditional architecture with richly decorated buildings housing small shops, institutions and restaurants.
Thimphu, also in the past spelled as Thimpu, is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan and the surrounding valley is one of Bhutan's dzongkhags, the Thimphu District. The city became the capital of Bhutan in 1961. As of 2005 it had a population of 79,185, with 98,676 people living in the entire Thimphu district. The city is spread out laterally in a north-south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Raidāk River, which is known as the Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. Thimphu is spread over an altitudinal range between 2,248 metres (7,375 ft) and 2,648 metres (8,688 ft). Unusually for a capital city, Thimphu is not served by an airport, but relies on the Paro Airport connected by road some 54 kilometres (34 mi) away.
Punakha is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and it takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district.
Trongsa is a town and capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. The name means "new village" in Dzongkha. The first temple was built in 1543 by the Drukpa Kagyu lama, Ngagi Wangchuk, who was the great-grandfather of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the person who unified Bhutan.
Bumthang is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is the most historic dzongkhag if the number of ancient temples and sacred sites is counted. Bumthang consists of the four mountain valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor ("Bumthang"), although occasionally the entire district is referred to as Bumthang valley.
Mongar is a town and the seat of Mongar District in eastern Bhutan. As of 2005 it had a population of 3502. Mongar is on the road from Thimphu to Trashigang. It is one of the oldest educational hubs of the country. It has a regional hospital and a good standard hotel, among other facilities. The important Yagang Lhakhang monastery is on the outskirts of the town.
Trashigang or Tashigang is the largest town with an altitude ranging from 600m to over 4000m and it is situated at the eastern part of Bhutan. Also Bhutan’s largest river, the Dangmechu, flows through this district. The town consists of sub-districts and fifteen gewogs. The conventional construction and the narrow streets here give the town an attractive and homely feel. Trashigang, an auspicious Mountain, is also an excellent base in Bhutan for excursions to places like Trashi Yangtse, Khaling, Radi, Phongme and elsewhere in eastern Bhutan. The place also once served as the centre of the main trade means with Tibet. This town is comparatively small but serves as the main market place for the semi-nomadic Merak and Sakteng people, who come to Trashigang to trade yak's butter for the requirements that they need in the mountains. The town is always with full of activities and the locals from far and near gather here to socialize or shop around. The people of Trashigang are very used to foreigners as there used to be many Canadian teachers working here. But the amount of foreigners visiting here is very few. The town is easily accessible by road and by flight.
Gom Kora , also known as Gomphu Kora, 24 km (15 miles) from Trashigang, is among the revered places of Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche meditated in order to subdue a demon. The temple structure was built in the mid 17th century that enshrines the statue of Guru Rinpoche and Chenresig, also known as Avablokiteshwara.
Chorten Kora, which has been built in the style of Boudhanath Stupa of Kathmandu, is the major attraction of Trashiyangtse. The story goes that people of eastern Bhutan were very religious and wanted to go on pilgrimage to Nepal to see the Boudhanath Stupa and so Lama Ngawang Loday built Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse so that people don’t have to make long trip to Nepal.
Formerly a sub-district of Tashigang, Trashiyangtse is now one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) of Bhutan. Trashiyangtse is 28 km (17.5 miles) further up north from Gomphu Kora and total 52 km (34 miles) from Trashigang town. A trip of Gomphu Kora and Trashiyangtse is usually done on a day excursion from Trashigang town.