In the centre of Bhutan and four hours by road from Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa offers a welcome rest to travelers. A vintage point from the opposite side of the valley still 14km kilometers from Trongsa provides a welcome view of the Dzong and the little town. Like almost all towns in the kingdom, the secular and religious centre, the Dzong, dominates the horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings. Trongsa is also the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family and from where the first two kings ruled the Kingdom.
This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652. It has four observation points resembling a Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. As of date the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum in the country.
Protected from invaders by an impenetrable valley, Trongsa Dzong is an impregnable fortress. The Dzong is a web of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill and can be seen from every approach to Trongsa heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold.
Kuenga Rabten Palace
The 23 km. drive from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten takes about an hour and passes through open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, so there is much of interest to observe in the fields and in the villages as you speed along.
Kuenga Rabten served as the winter palace of the second king and is now looked after by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs. This pleasant afternoon excursion from Trongsa offers further insight into the early days of Bhutan’s monarchy.
This two storied simple palace situated just above the highway in the town is the birth place of the Late King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was here that on 2nd May 1928, His Majesty was born to King Jigme Wangchuck and Ashi Puntsho Choden. He spent most of his early childhood days here at the Thurepang Palace.