Bhutan | Trongsa

Trongsa Dzong

Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour

Trongsa | Bhutan

12 Nov 2019 | Tue

Day 06 of 13

  • Morning Walkabout | Wangchuk Dem Village Gangtey
  • Drive | Gangtey to Trongsa to Jakar
  • Passed by Chendebji Chorten
  • Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Dam Trongsa
  • Riding on the Edge of Bhutan’s Lateral Road
  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Lunch in Trongsa
  • Hotel Ugyen Ling Jakar

Trongsa Dzong

After an adventurous drive from Gangtey, it was nice to arrive in Trongsa where we could take a break and visit the amazing Trongsa Dzong.

Visit the spectacular Trongsa Dzong. Built in 1647, it is also the ancestral home of the Royal Family, and both the first and second kings ruled the country from Trongsa. The Dzong sits on a narrow spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde-Chu River and overlooks the routes east, west and south. It was built in such a way that in the olden days, it had complete control over all east-west traffic. This helped to augment the strategic importance of the Dzong which eventually placed its Penlop (regional ruler) at the helm of a united country when His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck became the first king of Bhutan. To this day, the Crown Prince of Bhutan becomes the Penlop of Trongsa before ascending the throne, signifying its historical importance.

Embrace Bhutan Travel

Bhutan’s Largest Dzong

When you arrive to visit Trongsa Dzong for the first time, you will be impressed – with its grand scale (largest Dzong in Bhutan), magnificent architecture, and how it sits overlooking the gorge of the Mangde River, it is stunning! It can be seen from all directions (especially when approaching Trongsa from the Lateral Road (from the southeast).

View of Trongsa Dzong From Lateral Road

Trongsa Dzong is the largest dzong fortress in Bhutan, located in Trongsa (formerly Tongsa) in Trongsa district, in the centre of the country. Built on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangde River, a temple was first established at the location in 1543 by the Drukpa lama, Nagi Wangchuk son of Ngawang Chhojey.

In 1647, his great-grandson Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (Shabdrung or Zhabdrung being his title), constructed the first dzong to replace it, called Chökhor Rabtentse Dzong with a shorter version of Choetse Dzong. It was enlarged several times during the 18th century; the Chenrezig Lhakang was built in 1715 and a whole complex, including the Maitreya (Jampa) temple, was added in 1771.

The dzong has since been repaired on several occasions; it was damaged during the 1897 Assam earthquake and underwent extensive renovation in 1927 and 1999.

– Wikipedia Trongsa Dzong

Built On the Edge of a Ridge

Following the shape of the ridge it’s built on (north side), it sits up high on an elevated multi-layer terraced foundation and continues to the south following along the natural terrain. The overall shape seems to be narrow and long, which maximizes its awesome views overlooking the Mangde River gorge.

Sitting on the Edge of a Ridge
Beautiful Trongsa Dzong

Approaching Entrance Area

After getting dropped off by our driver, we made our way down a sidewalk, crossing over a small covered pedestrian bridge to get to the entrance area. After the cover bridge, you will pass by a huge Bhutan Cypress tree on the right.

Covered Pedestrian Bridge Leading to Entrance Area
Huge Bhutan Cypress Tree Near Entrance to Trongsa Dzong
Painted Entrance Door

Impressive Interior Design and Open Courtyards

Very much like what we saw at Punakha Dzong, Trongsa Dzong has an abundance of similar colorfully painted, Bhutanese-styled woodworking throughout the interior grounds. Also, similar is the large open courtyards surrounded by multi-story structures.

Monk Walking in Interior Courtyard
Overlooking Interior Courtyard

Prayer Wheels and Beautiful Painted Murals

In addition to many prayer wheels (some quite large), there were many beautiful-painted murals on display depicting various Bhutanese religious and historical events.

Large Prayer Wheels Surrounded By Impressive Painted Artwork and Woodworking
Example of Colorful and Intricate Painted Artwork on Display

Beautiful Views

As I already mentioned, the views looking from the back are stunning – overlooking the surrounding mountains and Mangde River gorge.

Views Looking From Back of Trongsa Dzong
Looking Down Backside of Trongsa Dzong

Map – Trongsa Dzong

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