The Royal Botanical Garden, Bhutan’s first botanical garden is situated 15 kilometres south of the country’s capital, Thimphu. The Royal Government of Bhutan opened the Royal Botanical Garden in May 1999 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the ascension to the throne of His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the fourth Druk Gyalpo. It was created to showcase the country’s flora to tourists and do scientific research on it. The Royal Botanical Garden has become a paradise for botany enthusiasts visiting Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu thanks to the country’s abundant natural resources, which are manifested in the form of a lush alpine forest and a treasure trove of medicinal plants.
The Royal Botanical Garden has been enriched with 46 species of rhododendron of which 18 species are native to the garden while the other 28 species were brought from other regions of Bhutan and planted in the Royal Botanical Garden. The astounding vista of blooming rhododendron during late spring which covers the valley of the botanical garden in a rosy blush has attracted travelers from around the globe to the Royal Botanical Garden of Bhutan.
Apart from the rhododendrons in the botanical garden visitor can also spot the other varieties of plants which consists of 115 species of ferns. Some of the other important trees are large oak, magnolia, and birch. Royal Botanical Garden is also a popular bird-watching area and 46 avifauna species have been identified making it a paradise for avid birdwatchers. Some of the rare species reported are monal pheasants and blood pheasants (Ithaginis cruentus). There are 21 animal species identified in the botanical garden which include musk deer, tiger, leopard, red panda, and the leopard cat.
Nestled between the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park, Royal Botanical Garden forms a biological corridor. Sprawled at an altitude ranging between 2700mt-3500mt, Royal Botanical Garden is known for being endowed with an abundance of Himalayan flora. The Royal Botanical Garden also forms the heart of the tri-junction of the hill ranges of the Sinchula, Helela, and Dochula.
The dense forest of cypress, fern, and pine sprawled in the Royal Botanical Garden is dotted with awe-inspiring trekking routes the famous one being the Rhododendron Walk and Dochula Nature Trail which adds up to the charm of the botanical garden. The Buddhist philosophy has been represented here by including a prayer wheel and chorten in the design of the garden, which makes it an ideal place for spiritual reflection and appreciation of Nature. From the serene nature walk to the spiritual prayer wheels, Royal Botanical Garden has something to offer to each of its visitors.
Listening to the melodious chirping of the exotic Himalayan birds while feasting your eyes upon the green emerald forest with a backdrop view of Dochula Pass can be among those moments which we want to cherish for a lifetime. Royal Botanical Garden located near Thimphu has become the ideal destination for botany enthusiasts and nature lovers who want to engulf their senses with the feeling of serenity while being in the lap of Mother Nature.
By Road- The road connectivity to this botanical garden from all the major cities of Bhutan is quite good. From the main town of Thimphu, the botanical garden is approximately 11 km driving distance away.
By Air- The international airport of Paro is the sole international airport in entire Bhutan. Hence, booking a flight to Paro is your only choice. After that, a car will help you reach the botanical garden within a little more than 1 hour.
Blessed with temperate weather, tourists can relish the beauty of pristine nature in Royal Botanical Garden throughout the year but the best time to make the most of the botanical garden trip is considered to be from March to May when the flowers are blooming and tourists can witness the vibrant color riots.