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Thimphu - Capital of Bhutan
Thimphu is Bhutan's capital city .It is located in the west of Bhutan. Latitude 27°N, Longitude 89°E .

Thimphu is modern in age only: new buildings are still based on traditional designs with elaborately painted trefoil-shaped windows and nailless wooden frames.

Among its sights are the Memorial Chorten (dedicated to the king's late father Jigme Dorji Wangchuck) and the Tashicho Dzong a 350-year-old structure built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and refurbished in 1961 to house government departments and ministries.

The king's throne room is in this Dzong. As the nation's largest monastery it is the summer quarters of 2 000 monks and the Je Khenpo, the spiritual leader and head of the monk body. Next to the Dzong is Thimphu's only golf course.

Also in town are the Changgankha Monastery and the early-17th-century Simtokha Dzong (fortress-turned-university of the Buddhist studies).


Memorial Chorten in Thimphu Memorial Chorten in Thimphu

Shop for local crafts at the multilevel Government Handicraft Emporium (where you can also cash traveler's checks) or at one of several privately run emporiums (Choeki Handicrafts is a good choice for its wide selection and reasonable prices). Budding painters and sculptors can be seen at work at the National Art School and tours to the National Library Jungshi Paper Factory and Royal Academy of Performing Arts are rewarding cultural experiences.

Stop at the Swiss Bakery, a frequent hangout for tourists and expatriates for pastries and coffee.

Thimphu's weekend market is the biggest in Bhutan and well worth a stop. Although many of the crafts items are manufactured imports from India and Nepal the extensive area of fresh grains and vegetables is worth at least an hour's walk-through.

Most important aspect Thimphu is its culture and its natural beauty, both of them giving it a unique advantage. Make sure that you have visited all the important attractions in Thimphu in the first place. Shopping for exotic items in the local markets and handicrafts emporiums is an experience in itself and shows you many aspects of local culture that is religiously protected from outside influences. Spicy cousins of Bhutan have no parallel on earth and dining in some ethnic restaurant is an unforgettable experience. Entire region around Thimphu has excellent trekking routes of different levels giving you ample opportunities for hiking, trekking, river rafting, and wildlife excursions.

Thimphu Dzongkhag
Thimphu is amongst the more developed dzongkhags in the country. The dzongkhag has a relatively good road network, especially in the lower gewogs. The gewogs in the northern part of the dzongkhag, which have a rugged and mountainous terrain with extreme cold climate, are connected only by mule tracks making access and delivery of development services difficult and expensive. Most of the lower gewogs in the dzongkhags have easy access to the national referral hospital, national research centers, central ministries, and agriculture related corporations and the fmancial institutions.

Further, extension services are available in all gewogs and so are facilities for primary education and health care. 60 % of the households are supplied with electricity.

Thimphu has an area of about 1,819 with elevation ranging between 1,300 to over 7,300 meters above sea level. The dzongkhag has one drungkhag and 10 gewogs. Bapisa, Chang, Dagala, Genye, Kawang, Mewang and Toepisa gewogs fall directly under the Dzongkhag Administration while the three gewogs of Lingzhi, Naro, and Soe are under the Lingzhi Drungkhag Administration. The lower valley gewogs in the dzongkhag are already relatively developed compared to other regions in the country with wide telecommunication and road coverage, and good access to local markets. Rice, which is the staple food, is grown extensively by a majority of the people in gewogs like Bapisa, Chang, Toepisa, Kawang, Mewang and Genye.

People also cultivate wheat as a winter crop. The dry land owned by the people is used for orchard plantation and vegetable cultivation for commercial purposes. The other more remote gewogs in the alpine region, namely Dagala, Soe, Naro and Lingzhi, depend on livestock farming as the main economic activity. Thimphu, the capital town, is also located in the dzongkhag. By the Ninth Plan, Chang (except for a few villages) and a portion of Kawang Gewogs will come under the jurisdiction of the Thimphu municipality. Considering this, only a few relevant programs have been planned for Chang, while Kawang will continue to remain as a gewog.
Source: Thimphu Dzongkhag


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