Over the weekend I walked up the Tashichho Dzong or “The Fortress of the Glorious Religion” nestled neatly in a valley beside the crystal clear water of the Wang Chhu River, it serves as both the government’s administration centre, in south of the rectangular building, and a monastic centre in the northern section. This outer building surrounds a courtyard in which you find a central building and the king’s office. It’s a majestic building and open to tourists at the weekend. This central building is probably six to seven stories high while the surrounding buildings are three to five stories high. It was all build in the 17th century and as still is the tradition, no plans were made and no nails or metal of any kind is used in its construction. The chief engineer knew how he wanted it designed, in his head and that was enough. Its solid stone walls are capped with ornate wooden structures and roofs. The highest points, at the four corners of the structure and the central king’s office, are capped with gold and red roofs. Entering the main courtyard you cannot be but impressed by the imposing structure and is white washed walls. These craftsmen are to be admired.
While I was in the Dzong I entered the main temple were around thirty young red robed, shaven head monks, some as young as 11 I’d imagine, were chanting and praying. Five drums and two 3 meter long horns kept the chanting in time while incense burned in front of a 6 meter high Buddha. The sound and smell was hypnotic.
These monks, who are in training, are part of the group that remained in Thimphu for the winter. As we make our way into spring the local guys find it hard and each morning a member of staff usually has to dress me again to the laughs of my co-workers in the middle of the office. I wear knee length socks and have large white cuffs. Sounds interesting eh! Photo’s to follow next week.