Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk Desi (or “Deb Raja”), the head of Bhutan’s civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country.
The dzong is located close to Thimphu town, next to the banks of the Wang Chhu River. It is an impressively large structure, surrounded by well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens.
It was built by the first Dharma Raja. The correct transliteration of the vernacular name—Bkrashis-chhos-rdzong, meaning “the fortress of auspicious doctrine“—is, according to Dr. Graham Sandberg, Tashichho dzong.
The main structure of the whitewashed building is two-storied with three-storied towers at each of the four corners topped by triple-tiered golden roofs. There is also a large central tower or utse.
In 1641 Zhabdrung built the Dzong (Fortress of the auspicious religion) in place of the Dho Ngon (Blue stone) Dzong.
In 1698, the dzong caught fire and was restored. The dzong caught fire for a second time during the reign of the 16th Desi and 13th Je Khenpo. In 1869, the dzong once again caught fire. After the capital was moved from Punakha to Thimphu, the present Dzong was rebuilt by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Only the central Utse tower, the Lhakhang Sarp (new temple), and main Gonkhang (protector temple) remain from the earlier Dzong.
Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of Bhutan’s government since 1968. It presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the cabinet secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Some other government departments are housed in buildings to the south of the Dzong, and others in new buildings in Thimphu. West of the dzong is a small tower of Ney Khang Lhakhang which houses a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha and protective deities. In 1953 the royal family took up residence in the newly built Dechencholing Palace.
Best Time to visit Tashichho Dzong
This Dzong timings are after the government offices close for the day which is usually after 5 PM. On govt. holidays, the fortress is open from 11 AM to 4 PM. This dzong open through out the year.