Saturday, March 08, 2014

Trongsa: The Heart of Bhutan

It is in the center of Bhutan. It is the city from where the kings of Bhutan come. It has the largest dzong in the country. Unlike most of Western Bhutan, where the cities are in valleys, this city mirrors East Bhutan by setting itself on a mountain slope. It is also one of the wettest areas of Bhutan. This city is Trongsa, the heart of Bhutan and with a lot of importance to its history and royalty.

Trongsa Dzong and the Trongsa Landscape
Normally, this city is not on the tourist’s itinerary, but since it falls on the way to Bumthang, a lot of tourists spend half a day here. But, if you ask me, this town deserves much more time. The best way to begin a tour of Trongsa is by starting at the T Dzong, which has the view tower that gives stunning views of Trongsa and the Trongsa Dzong and where one can see and understand its history in the Trongsa museum.

The mighty Trongsa Dzong - the largest Dzong of Bhutan
After understanding the history of Trongsa, the next stop would be Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong of Bhutan and one that needs a lot of effort to explore due to its sheer size. If you feel adventurous, you should try walking down from the dzong to the cantilever bridge where the mountain river flows and then back to the dzong through forests and rice fields. The hike will be tough, but will show you the natural beauty of Trongsa.

The large Trongsa Dzong of BhutanApart from these two highlights, there is nothing much in terms of man made tourist attractions, but I personally found the nature very appealing. If you are for hikes, there are many hikes up hill and down hill from Trongsa that take you to small villages where people live by farming and collecting firewood from the forests. The people of Trongsa are full of smiles and always welcome a good conversation with a traveler and hence interacting with them is a great way to understand local traditions and culture.

T Dzong as seen from Trongsa Dzong
Trongsa has a very laid back life and is perfect for those who love long walks, culture, heritage and mountain nature. One should try and stay here at least a couple of days, if not more and explore the heart of Royal Bhutan.

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