Located 15km south of the capital city Thimphu is the first botanical garden of Bhutan called Royal Botanical Garden. Royal Botanical Garden was inaugurated in May 1999 to honor the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the fourth Druk Gyalpo’s, His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, accession to the throne by the Royal Government of Bhutan. It was established to display Nation’s flora to the visitors and study it scientifically. The rich natural wealth of Bhutan which is showed in the form of dense alpine forest and medicinal treasure house has made Royal Botanical Garden the safe haven for the botany enthusiast traveling in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu.
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 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 Royal Botanical Garden is enriched with 46 species of rhododendron of which 18 species are the native of the garden while the other 28 species where brought from the 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 botanical garden in a rosy blush has attracted travelers from around the globe towards 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 the 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 includes musk deer, tiger, leopard, red panda and the leopard cat. The dense forest of cypress, fern and pine sprawled in the Royal Botanical Garden is dotted with awe-inspiring trekking route 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 appreciate Nature. From the serene nature walk to the spiritual prayers 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 lifetime. Royal Botanical Garden located near Thimphu has become the ideal destination for the botany enthusiast and nature lovers who wants to engulf their senses with the feeling of serenity while being in the lap of Mother Nature.
Blessed with temperate weather, tourist can relish the beauty of pristine nature in Royal Botanical Garden throughout the year but the best time to make 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.