Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress situated in the western bank of the cascading river stream Wang Chhu. Located on the northern edge of the city Thimphu in Bhutan, The first Thimphu Dzong was built by the first Dharma Raja, Lama Gyalwa Lhanapa who also founded the Lho- Drukpa sect of Buddhism, in 1216 A.D where the Dechen Phodrang now stands in Bhutan. In 1641 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal took over the dzong Lhapa Kagyu and renamed it as Tashichho Dzong. It was then established as the main seat of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu and the summer residence of the monastic body. The name “Tashichho” stands for the “fortress of auspicious doctrine” in Bhutanese language.
Enclosed with the lofty mountains and meandering river stream, Tashichho Dzong with its magnificent structure and astounding artifact has become a must visit destination for the travelers who wants to learn more about the Bhutanese culture while traveling to Thimphu. Sited at a distance of 6km from the heart of the capital city, Tashichho Dzong is one of the major attractions of Thimphu. The sight of two storeys white washed building with a three storeys tower residing amidst the green valley with a backdrop view of lofty mountains has ensnared the heart of many travelers making them the admirer of the beautiful Tashichho Dzong. The magnificent structure of Tashichho Dzong houses 30 chapels, temples and shrines. Since 1968 Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of Bhutan’s government and it presently houses the throne room and office of the King in the south wing of the Dzong. In the west wing of Tashichho Dzong is the small three storeys tower of Ney Khang Lhakhang which houses a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha flanked by the prospective deity of Gyenden Jagpa Melen and Dorje Daksten, the female guardian deities of Phajoding. The northern portion of Tashichho Dzong is the summer residence of Je Khengpo and the central monastic body. Unlike other Dzong, Tashichho has two main entrance one entrance leads towards the south wing, the official side and other one to the northern wing where the monastic body resides during summer. The northern wing of Tashichho Dzong is also the venue where the dance of annual tsechu festival is preformed. Tourists while visiting Tashichho Dzong can also see the traditional cantilever bridge below the dzong over river Wang Chhu.
The astounding architecture which tells the tales about the art and culture of Bhutan along with the mesmerizing view of Wang Chhu cascading down the mountainous valley has made Tashichho Dzong a must visit destination of Thimphu. From witnessing the authentic masked dance festival to immerging in the serene ambiance a visit to Tashichho Dzong ensures it all.
The best time to visit the splendid Tashichho Dzong is considered to be between March-April when the valley surrounding Dzong is covered in the vibrant color riot of blooming rhododendron and October- November when the sky remains clear.