Motithang Takin Preserve, located in the Motithang District of Thimphu is a wildlife reserve is for the national animal of Bhutan, Takin. Motithang Takin Preserve is one of the few places in Bhutan where tourist can get the glimpse of the unique animal called takin. Many tourists have never heard or seen the animal called Takin since it is the native of the mystical land of Bhutan. Former mini zoo, Motithang Takin Preserve was converted into a wildlife reserve when it was discovered that the animals refrained from inhabiting the surrounding forested area when set free upon the instruction of the 4th Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan.
Perched at the verdant land in a short distance from the BBS tower viewpoint of Thimphu, Motithang Takin Preserve has become a must visit destination for the wildlife lover and travelers who are looking to witness something different while visiting Bhutan. Takin is a unique animal whose head resemble a mountain goat and body of a cow. The reason of declaring takin as the national animal of Bhutan on 25thNovember 2005 is dated back to the 15th century and interlinked by a bizarre legend. A Tibetan saint by the name Drukpa Kunley popularly recognized as “The Divine Madman” is credited in creating the mystical animal takin with unique feature. The Divine Madman was not only a religious preachers but he was also a proficient tantric. As per the legend, few Bhutanese people requested Drukpa Kunley during one of his religious lecture to conjure a miracle before them. The Divine Madman agreed to do so provided he was fed for the lunch a whole cow and a whole goat. Once the lunch was served, he devoured both the animals leaving only the bones. It is said then The Divine Madman took the head of the goat and fixed it in the skeleton of cow while uttering some mantra and right before the eyes of the bystander the mystical animal takin was created which till date resides the hill side of Bhutan. Because of this magical creation with high religious connotation, the animal has been adopted as the national animal of Bhutan. Motithang Takin Preserve not only houses the legendary animal takin but visitors can also catch the glimpse of barking deer and sambar with the NCD planning on bringing in other rare animals unique to Bhutan like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Serow. Catching the glimpse of takin can be quite a nerve wrecking task so visitors should be prepared to take a few minutes’ walk around the Motithang Takin Preserve.
Taking a stroll in the verdant while searching for the shy legendary takin while listening to the chirping of exotic Himalayan birds, it can be a once in a life time experience which is ensured during a visit of Motithang Takin Preserve.
Motithang Takin Preserve can be visited by the travelers throughout the year but the best time to visit Motithang Takin Preserve is said to be the morning hours when the chances to spotting takin is greatest.