I would love to say that I have travelled all over Bhutan but sadly that’s a big no. I am 23 years old and yet I haven’t been to most parts of Bhutan, but I have this burning desire of going to all the 20 Dzongkhags (states) of the country. And some day I will post about all parts of my country in this blog but for now I ll take you to the places I have been…but one at a time. So today the place I am going to talk about is THIMPHU.
Like I mentioned in the earlier post, Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan. As of now it’s the most developed city in Bhutan. This city is so crowed with both people and vehicles, never the less it’s still really beautiful. If I start with what I have seen in Thimphu, then I should say verities of places. But I will start of with the religious places. Thimphu, like any part of Bhutan has a lot of religious places of which my favourite is DECHENPHUG LHAKHANG. And the reason is very personal.
In Bhutan, parents usually name their children either from a great lama or from renounced religious places and mine happens to be at DECHENPHUG LHAKHANG, that’s why my name is Dechen Dema. But it’s not necessary that every one who goes there gets named Dechen, there are other names but again Dechen is quite the trade mark. It’s a really beautiful place, quite far from the town and the crowd, peaceful and a really strong historical background.
|pictorial representation of AUP GENGAY|
AUP GENGAY, The guardian deity was believed to be giants during the early times. He married a mermaid, also a guardian deity and then together, they started protecting the place. I always go there to pay my respect. It’s usually done annually but when ever there is any special day or occasion in my life, I go there for the blessing…it’s believed that HE will protect me through the journey of life since he is my God father.
There are so many places like that and every Bhutanese visits these places on special occasions and pay our respects. It’s not necessary that we visit on selected places…we pay equal respect to all the holy places, that’s just being Bhutanese. We offer butter lamps and incense sticks with offerings like fruits or snacks which they use while the regular prayer offerings.
|view from sangay gang|
Then other places I love in Thimphu are BUDDHA POINT, SANGAY GANG and YHSS. BUDDHA POINT is the latest visiting place. Like the name suggest, there is a huge statue of Buddha being erected some way far from the main settlement. Its height is 168 feet and is the largest statue in the country. It looks really amazing, feels like he is watching over us, protecting us.
SANGAY GANG is another such beautiful place. This place is well known because it’s beautiful and also because BBS (only TV channel in Bhutan) tower is situated there. People go there all the time to take small breaks from the busy lives. They stay there for few minutes enjoying the view of the Thimphu city and letting go of what ever is stressing them…it feels like a mini retreat.
And finally YHSS (Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School), this is the name of the high school. this is one of the well known schools in the country. I love this place dearly because it gave me so many friends, happiness and memories. Those two years of +2 educations was full of fun. Every inch of that place makes me feel at home. Even now when I go back to that place…I get a warm feeling inside and make me genuinely happy.
These are only few places I have mentioned, but these are the places I visit and I love. There are lots of similar places, all equally beautiful like the Thimphu Tashichho Dzong. This is the magnificent traditional building bearing the office of our King and also other important offices. Every one is allowed to enter this Dzong, but we have to be in our full national dress that includes kira, wanju, tego and rachu (for ladies) and gho, lagay, formal shoes and kabney (for gents). There is an attached arena (named Tendril thang) near the Dzong for all the traditional celebrations.
There is one more place I want to mention and that is the play ground/centenary park. It’s the place where all the kids love to be all day long. I go there with my nieces and nephews and its fun to see all the children having the time of their life. The place is filled with the safe play ground equipments. This place is always flooded with kids, especially during the weekends.
If I mention all the places in Thimphu, pages won’t be enough so these are the few places I, as an individual love. But like I said earlier, each place in Thimphu is equally beautiful and I am sure different people love different places in Thimphu. These are some of the places I would like to tell you all about.
Lhakhang = temple
Lama = higher ranking monk
Dzong = monastery