Best Temples to See in Bhutan
Tibetan Buddhism is respected as the state religion in Bhutan, and everything here is inseparable from religion. The temple is a must-see and a focal point of a visit to Bhutan. By visiting the temple, you can appreciate the ingenious workmanship of the temple architecture, and you can also learn about the humanities and history of Bhutan. Here, we list the Best Temples to See in Bhutan for your reference.
1. Taktshang Goemba - the most sacred Buddhist temple
Taktshang Goemba, also known as Tiger Nest Temple, is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Bhutan, which is known as one of the top ten super temples in the world. Tiger Nest Temple is located on a 3,000-foot cliff in the Paro Valley. The legendary second Buddha Padmasambhava flew over the place on a tiger and once meditated in a cave, which is now the Tiger's Nest Temple, making it a place of Buddhist enlightenment.
All the halls of Tiger Nest Temple are not very big, many of them are built irregularly on the hills. The cypress trees all around the temple are dozens of meters high, with a bunch of moss hanging on them. There is a waterfall hung in front of the gate of Tiger Nest Temple, and the waterfalls into a hollow several hundred meters deep below. Tiger Nest Temple is a temple that combines scenery and art.
2. Kyichu Lhakang - the oldest monastery in Bhutan
Kyichu Lhakang is the oldest monastery in Bhutan. It is located in the Paro Valley and is one of the first religious forts built by the Kingdom of Bhutan. Kyichu Temple is a double temple building. The first temple was built by Songtsen Gambo in 638 AD. The eight-year-old life-size Shakyamuni Buddha enshrined in the temple, which is one of the most sacred Buddha statues in Bhutan.
Queen Ashi Kesang, the grandmother of the current king of Bhutan, planned to build a new temple with the same style next to this ancient temple in 1968. Since then, Kyichu Temple has not only become a sacred place for local people to worship, but also an important place for celebrations held by the royal family of Bhutan.
3. Gangtey Goemba - overwintering habitat of black-necked crane
Gangtey Goemba is located at the top of the mountain, occupying the best position in the Phobjikha Valley, surrounded by greenery and a quiet environment. Gangtey Gompa is the only ashram of Tibetan Tantra Nyingma (commonly known as "Red Sect") in Bhutan. Gangtey Goemba is famous for its exquisite wood carvings and murals. The temple in the center is very traditional Tibetan style, supported by eight huge pillars. It is said to be one of the largest temples in Bhutan.
The site of the temple was personally selected by Pema Lingpa, the terma digger of Guru Padmasambhava. It was built by his grandson Pema Tinlie in 1500. Therefore, Pema Tinlie became the first "Tulku" of Gangtey. Phobjikha Valley is one of the few glacial gorges in Bhutan, which is the world's only plateau black-necked crane's overwintering habitat. For Bhutanese, the black-necked crane is a lucky bird. From mid-October to December each year, about 500 black-necked cranes will fly from the Tibetan Plateau over the Himalayas and descend to the Phobjikha Valley.
4. Paro Dzong - the largest temple
Paro Dzong, located on the Paro River, was founded by the first theocratic leader Ngawang Namgya in the early 17th century. It is also known as Rinpung Dzong, which means "jewel pile on the fortress". It was used as a fortress to defend the Paro Valley. Paro Dzong, like other fortresses in Bhutan, is not only a Buddhist temple, but also serves as a government function. Its predecessor was the office of the local government, including the National Assembly's conference hall and local courts.
There are still about 200 monks living here. The grand Paro Tshechus Festival is held here every spring, attracting thousands of local residents and tourists, and the scene is quite lively. Paro Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. Bernardo Bertolucci's movie "The Little Living Buddha" was shot in Paro Dzong.
5. Punakha Dzong - the most beautiful temple
Punakha Dzong is the second fort built in Bhutan by the founder of Bhutan, Zhabs-drung. Built in 1637, It is located at the confluence of the Father River and Mother River at an altitude of 1463 meters. Before 1950, it was the capital of Bhutan, the political center of Bhutan and the seat of the national government. It was also the residence of the supreme ruler of Bhutan and the place where important national ceremonies are held. It is now the winter palace of the Archbishop Lama of Je Khenpo.
From October 1st to April 1st of the following year (Bhutan calendar), Lama Je Khenpo relocates from Thimphu Trashi Chhoe Dzong Summer Palace to Punakha Dzong for the winter. The central tower is nearly 183 meters long, 7 meters wide, and 6 stories high. At the same time, it also houses a large collection of Bhutanese Buddhist manuscripts, the sacred list of Buddhist celebrities, religious paintings of various specifications and realistic portraits of religious celebrities.
6. Tashi Chhoe Dzong - government center of Thimphu
Tashichho Gzong or Tashichho Castle, one of the modern Buddhist holy places in Bhutan, is close to the center of Thimphu Valley at an altitude of 2500 meters. It was built in the 13th century by Phajo Dugon Shipgo, the father of Bhutan's religion. Tashichho Gzong is a prestigious Buddhist monastery in Bhutan and the government center of the capital Thimphu.
Tashi Chhoe Dzong
Tashichho Gzong is the office of the current king as well as the seat of the internal affairs and finance departments. It is also the summer residence of religious leaders and central religious institutions. The floor structure of Tashichho Gzong has two floors, and the exterior walls are painted with white lime. Visitors have to go through security checks when entering the gate. After entering the inner courtyard, they can take pictures freely, but loud noises are prohibited.