Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan is the only capital city without traffic lights and airport. It is situated in Thimphu Dzongkhag stretching along the banks of the Wangchu River. Ranging in altitude from 2,248 metres to 2,648 metres, it holds the record of being the fourth highest capital in the world. Thimphu has become political and economic center since His Majesty the Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck shifted the capital from the ancient capital of Punakha in 1952.
1. Semtokha Dzong
Semtokha Dzong was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. It is the first of its kind built in Bhutan. It served as the summer residence for the Central Monatic Body in several occasions, when Tashi Choedzong was destroyed by fire and earthquake. The Dzong also served as the College of Language and Culture Studies until the college was shifted to Trongsa in 2011.
2. Tashi Choedzong
In 1641, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal took over Dongoen Dzong and renamed it Tashi Choedzong. After the original dzong was destroyed by fire in 1772, a new dzong was built at the present site by the 16th Desi, Sonam Lhudrup. His Majesty the Third King rebuilt the Dzong in 1962. Today, the Dzong contains offices of His Majesty the King and the Cabinet Secretariat aside serving as the summer residence of Central Monastic Body. .
3. Changlimithang Stadium
Changlimithang Stadium is built on the site where the last civil war broke out in 1885. The battle established supremacy of Ugyen Wangchuck that lead to unification of Bhutan and his coronation as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan. Today, it is predominantly used for football matches and archery tournaments. The stadium also hosts national events and celebrations.
4. National Memorial Stupa
His Majesty the Third King wished to build a stupa to represent the mind of the Buddha. It was only in 1974, after he passed away, his wish was fulfilled. Dungsey Thinley Norby envisioned the architecture under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Azhi Kezang Choden Wangchuck.
5. Buddha Dordenma Statue
The 42 meter high Statue of Buddha Dordenma in Thimphu, is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. Funded by sponsors from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, the construction of the statue was completed in 2015. His Holiness the 70th Jekhenpo consecrated the statue in dedication to the 60th birth anniversary celebration of His Majesty the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.