Trongsa Dzong

Majestically sited Trongsa Dzong dates back to the 16th century, when the first temple was built by the Shabdrung’s great-grandfather in 1543, then enclosed by the dzong in 1644 to become the seat of monarchy in 1907. Trongsa Dzong is still very closely connected to the royal family. The first two hereditary kings ruled from here, and tradition dictates that the crown prince serve as Trongsa penlop before acceding the Bhutanese throne.

It occupies an impregnable and strategic location in the very centre of the kingdom at 2,200mt, allowing it to control the east-west trading route whose single trail passed through the dzong’s own gates.

With its multiple levels of red roofs and massive white walls hugging the ridge and backed by the mountains, Trongsa Dzong is one of the most awe-inspiring Bhutanese dzongs. Inside, a maze of corridors, courtyards and stairs leads to several temples full of sweet incense, stunning paintings and an impressive Buddha of the Future erected by the First King. The highlights are the atmospheric northern assembly hall and the southern Mithrub Lhakhang, which houses the funerary chorten of the founder of the first temple. The entrance to the tower depicts the paradise of Guru Rinpoche and there are paintings of Swayambhunath and the Punakha dzong.

The annual winter tsechu welcomes visitors and locals who come to receive blessings, watch mask dances and the unfurling of the thongdrel, said to wash away all sins.

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