This town is situated on a steep ridge and offers spectacular views of the deep valleys surrounding it. The various hotels, guesthouses and restaurants all offer equally stunning views from their balconies. Trongsa Dzong is easily visible from anywhere in the town and is always an impressive sight as it is situated atop a steep ridge that drops off into the clouds on its south side.
The following is a list of noteworthy sites and monuments in Trongsa Dzongkhag:
Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient stronghold. Trongsa holds a deep connection to the royal lineage as all four kings were authorized as the Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping along the contours of the ridge which it is built on. Due to its highly strategic position, being the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country.
Trongsa boasts an impressive museum dedicated to the Wangchuck dynasty, which is converted from a traditional watchtower. This watchtower, which once guarded the Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points symbolizing four mystical Bhutanese beings: Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. It houses a shrine dedicated to the hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower will provide visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. The Ta Dzong serves as the most fascinating museum of the nation till date.
This two storied palace is situated just above the highway in Trongsa. As the birth place of the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, it was on 2nd May 1928, that His Majesty was born to King Jigme Wangchuck and Ashi Puntsho Choden. He spent most of his early childhood days here. Another place of interest is the Eundu Choling Palace, which served as the winter residence of the 1st King Ugyen Wangchuck.
Kuenga Rabten Palace
The 23 km. drive from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten takes about an hour and passes through an open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, where rice and maize are the staple crops. The Palace is clearly visible just below the highway on the right. Served as the winter palace of the second king, it is now preserved by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. This palace offers further insights into the early days of Bhutan’s monarchy.
The Chendebji Chorten, designed similarly to Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, said to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend says that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.