Nestled on the hilltop above the confluence of the two largest mountain streams of Bhutan is Trashigang Dzong. Built in 1659 by Trongsa Penlop Minjur Tenpa when the eastern region of the country was brought under Drukpa rule according to the prophecies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Trashigang Dzong is a monastery like fortress. During ancient era Trashigang Dzong was established to offer protection to the commoners from raid when the political situation was not stable. Strategically located on the ridge of the mountain, Trashigang Dzong offers an outstanding vista of river Drangme Chuu cascading through the emerald green forest. Trashigang Dzong in Bhutanese language stands for the words “fortress of auspicious hill”.
Perched amidst the alpine forest, the sight of white washed Trashigang Dzong gleaming under the sun has mesmerized many travelers. Trashigang Dzong had repelled many invasion of Tibet and because of its altitude invading armies remarked that “it is not a dzong on the ground, it is in the sky”. Trashigang Dzong is one of 20 dzongs that has survived around the quaint kingdom while constituting a key part of Bhutan’s built heritage. It was founded according to the prophecies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in order to consolidate indomitable power and unparallel reign over the whole of the eastern regions. During the time of the fourth Deb, Tenzin Rabgye, the entire Trashigang Dzong was enlarged and a Goenkhang was added in 1680s.In 1936, Dzongpon Dopola added a shrine and large statue of Guru Rinpoche. Although Trashigang Dzong has survived for almost 300years but visitors can see that it is slowly losing its battle against the time. The crumbling foundation and eroded walls is the sign that not even the great dzong which once warded off many invasion can win against time. It is said four Dzongchungs (mini-Dzongs) were also built in four cardinal directions but regrettable they all have been turned into dust. At the present time tourist can see few lhakhang still standing tall after the few renovations which undertook in Trashigang Dzong. Unlike other dzong of Bhutan, Trashigang Dzong has only one courtyard. In the first floor of goenkhang traveler can see the beautiful paintings of a yeti featuring the chapel, while another chapel is dedicated to the deity Choegi (Yama) Gyalpo, the wrathful aspect of Chenresig. He is a protector of the faith, the god of death and the king of law, who weighs up the good and evil at the end of a person's life. The age old walls which tells the tale of glorious day, when the fortified monastery warded off many invasion and withstood several natural calamities, still holds an alluring charisma which has attracted traveler visiting to Bhutan.
Take a stroll in the courtyard, where one can still feel the lingering essence of ancient era which is adorned with miniature stupa while basking in the glorious sight of luxuriant forest and meandering river streams. The serene ambiance and remarkable historic significant along with its mesmerizing charm and being the venue of the annual tsechu has made Trashigang Dzong a must visit destination of Trashigang.
The tranquil ambiance and breathtaking architecture of Trashigang Dzong can be relished throughout the year but to November is considered the best time to visit Trashigang Dzong. During November tourist can witness the vibrant annual festival, Tsechu when the monks perform mask dance.