Thimphu is not only the capital, but the largest and most populous city of Bhutan. The rapid urbanization in recent years has greatly increased the size of the settlement, the main economic and political center of the state. A special feature is linked to the fact that Thimphu is the only capital in the world where there are no traffic lights, since, after the attempt on the part of local authorities to install someone, people protested judging impersonal and demanding that were removed. You can imagine then the traffic is regulated exclusively by the theatrical gestures of firefighters in white gloves, real institutions of the country that almost no tourist lets slip the lens of his camera.
Several archaeological finds suggest that the area of Thimphu was to be inhabited in 2000 BC when nomadic stayed there to hunt. The influence of Buddhism, which began to spread among the population from the second century AD, it was very important to the city, which still sees the presence of beautiful temples and ancient monasteries. Became the capital of Bhutan in 1961, Thimphu is home to the Government within Chhoe Tashi Dzong, a monastery-fortress erected in the thirteenth century north of downtown.
The main direction of the city is Norzin Lam, the road passing through the center of the major hotels and the pretty Old Town Square, the heart of Thimphu. Unlike other resort, Thimphu attractions are not entirely concentrated around the main square, but there are also grouped in the north, where stand the dzong (fortress-monastery), the library, the art school and museum folklore, and in the suburb of Motithang, on a hill overlooking the surrounding area.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong is, as already mentioned above, a symbol of the attractions of the capital of Bhutan. The site, built on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, not overlooking the valley or the city as a real fortress, but, on the contrary, its wonderful proportions and modest location gives it a considerable magnificence. The external structure is two stories high and comes coated with a thin layer of plaster, while the four corners stand three-storey towers with red roofs and golden protrude outside on the wall. Unlike most other dzong, the outer walls have parts consisting of blocks of granite finely machined. For the past several decades, within the complex is the seat of the Secretariat of the throne room and other offices of the king, as well as the Ministry of the Interior and that of Finance.
Other monuments are very different from each other, but united for reasons different from all symbols of Thimphu are: the National Memorial Chorten, a large memorial chorten in Tibetan style built in 1974 in memory of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the SAARC Building, a large Bhutanese style building built in the 90s on the east bank of the river to host a meeting of heads of state of various countries in South Asia mermbri SAARC (South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation), the Changlimithang Stadium, national stadium, near which there are the field of archery, a large football stadium, a basketball court and tennis courts and squash courts, and Changangkha Lhakhang, an ancient temple perched on a ridge just outside off from the town.
A testimony to the high cultural level attained by Thimphu in recent years include the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly called “painting school” because it puts at the disposal of students from across the state a course of four / six years that provides a artistic preparation complete, and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, one of the most special of the city in which they prepare medicines based on herbs and other preparations. As if that were not enough around the capital are scattered several interesting museums, such as the Folk Heritage Museum, “Museum of Popular Traditions”, housed in a building made of mud and wood pressed in imitation of the typical Bhutanese rural housing, and the National Textile Museum, used to disseminate the techniques of local weaving. In this ideal path among the cultural sites of Thimphu can enter a full also the National Library, which was established in 1967 to preserve ancient texts in Tibetan and Dzongkha.
Many tourists are in agreement in defining the traditional weekend market one of the most interesting attractions and curious to Thimphu. Starting from Thursday evening until Sunday walking from across the region animate the banks of Wang Chhu immediately north of Changlimithang Stadium with stalls laden, depending on the season, food of all kinds, including fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Between a banquet and the other, smells and tastes will stimulate your senses in a sublime way, enticing the visitor even more reticent to try some delicious Bhutanese. To spend an afternoon outdoors in the capital there is nothing better than Motithang Takin Preserve, where there are several examples of takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
Although located at the same latitude as Miami and Cairo, Thimphu has a climate very different from that of the other two cities because of the altitude, which keeps the temperature low enough values. In January average values oscillate between -3 and 12 degrees, even if they are rare nights to -7/-8 degrees. In summer the maximum exceeds a few degrees to 20 degrees while the minimum rarely descend below 15. It still to avoid living between June and August, when the monsoon down upon the city of rainfall.
Before that, in 1962, was completed the new road to reach the capital from Phuentsholing were needed about ten days, and now are just six hours. For the rest, once landed the only airport in the country, the airport in Paro, you can take a taxi or rent a car to reach Thimphu, 53 km away and a couple of hours drive away. To get around the city the best way is without a doubt their legs, which will prevent the sudden traffic jams result of a lack of traffic lights.
Originally posted 2012-09-18 10:29:56.