Trongsa Dzongkhag-The Vanguard of the warriors is located near the centre of Bhutan and was considered crucial in controlling the kingdom in earlier years due to its strategic position. Trongsa is the ancestral home to the royal family. Both His Majesty King Ugyen Wangchuck, the Penlop of Trongsa, who was elected the country’s first hereditary monarch and his successor, King Jigme Wangchuk, ruled the country from Trongsa ancient seat. The crown prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes “penlop” (governor) of Trongsa before being crowned king.
Trongsa Dzong is the largest dzong fortress in Bhutan, located in Trongsa district, in the centre of the country. It was built on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangde River in 1543 by the Drukpa Lama. It served as the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan as both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong’s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country from here.
Thruepang Palace is the birth place of the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The two storied simple palace is situated just above the highway which is 23 km drive from Trongsa for 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 one speed along.
The Chorten lies en route to Trongsa which is patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Zhida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Legend says that the evil spirit manifested as a gigantic snake.