Day 2- Punakha to Trongsa
Some interesting facts about Trongsa:
- Trongsa is strategically situated right in the middle of Bhutan’s East-West axis. In the old days, that gave its Penlop (Governor) so much power as they could practically control the whole trading route, hence the whole country. The Crown Prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes the Penlop of Trongsa before ascending the throne.
- Trongsa Dzong is the biggest dzong in the country (and my favorite). Just to give you some perspectives, from afar Trongsa Dzong looks bigger than the town itself.
- Trongsa town is tiny with just a couple of streets, which are arranged in a way that reminds me of Paris’s street corners.
- The museum housed in Ta Dzong (the watch tower) is small but well organized. The view from the top is breathtaking, but all visitors must leave their bags and belongings at reception 😦
- It is in Trongsa museum that we first came across ‘Yab-yum’ (‘father-mother’ in Tibetan), a common symbol in the Buddhist art of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Yab-yum represents the male deity sitting in a lotus position in sexual union with his female consort who sits in his lap. It is supposed to represent the primordial union of wisdom (female figure) and compassion (male figure) but somehow we just could not get our heads around the concept.
Leaving Punakha for Trongsa
Kids on the way to school. All of them wear traditional costumes and carry a back pack and a lunch box.
Pelela Pass is very cold. The whole area is often covered in snow in winter.
A glimpse of the Himalaya range
Having tea on Pelela Pass
Flowers in the tea house’s garden
Bhutanese people still preserve their yak meat by drying them in open air. Even bones are chopped into small pieces, dried out, and later used to make soup broth. See the white pile on the floor in the background?)
Chendebji Choeten is a mini replica of the Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu with eyes painted at the four cardinal points.
Approaching Trongsa – the Dzong looks prominent even from afar.
The view from Yangkhil Resort is amazing!
…and its row of smaller prayer wheels
Its gate is beautifully decorated
View from Ta Dzong
A very intricate door handle
The view from the top of this tower is amazing
Stone walls covered in moss, lichen, and tiny plants
Leaving Ta Dzong
Entering Trongsa Dzong
Our guide walking into the courtyard
This courtyard is huge, my lens could only capture a part of it.
Light and shadow
Lovely doors, windows and balconies
View from the upper courtyard
This monk was so friendly, he let us take as many photos of him and with him as we wanted.
The monks’ living quarter
This monk was bringing offerings to their temple
Our guide checked his phone all the time. We often joked that he had to report to his girlfriend every minute what he was doing with 4 female tourists.
Fantastic Four – we could not have been more colorful 🙂
I kept taking photos of doors and windows because they were so beautiful.
View of the Dzong’s balconies from the ground
All shops and restaurants in Bhutan have the same sign board design. A lot of them use the word ‘cum’ without hyphens (eg: restaurant cum bar, food cum lodging, etc.), which can cause a lot of rolled eyes and giggles from tourists.
Kids coming home from school
We left Trongsa early in the morning, and this was our last view of the Dzong