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Tashichho Dzong

Tashichhoe Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan, on the western bank of the Wang Chu. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk Desi (or "Deb Raja"), the head of Bhutan's civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country.

The main structure of the whitewashed building is two-storied with three-storied towers at each of the four corners topped by triple-tiered golden roofs. There is also a large central tower or utse.

Entering the dzong from the northeast entrance you are greeted by the four guardian kings, while the steps are flanked by images of Drukpa Kunley, Thangtong Gyelpo and Togden Pajo (the founder of nearby Phajoding Monastery). Upon entering the dochey (courtyard), it's hard not to be impressed by the splendid proportions of the architecture, the enclosed silence broken only by the flight of pigeons, the shuffle of feet and the whirr of prayer wheels. A large utse separates the northern monastic courtyard and its Lhakhang Sarpa from the southern administrative courtyard. The northern assembly hall houses a large statue of Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha) and the thrones of the current king, past king and Je Khenpo. Look to the ceiling for fine painted mandala.

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