Ancestral home of Bhutan’s ruling dynasty, Trongsa is a strategically located town on the east-west route. Trongsa Dzong, built on a spur with a spectacular views of the Mangde River Valley is Bhutan’s largest Dzong and the location of where the institution of Bhutan’s monarchy began.
The foundations of Trongsa Dzong were laid in the 16th Century and there are now 22 temples in the complex. Overlooking the Dzong is the Ta Dzong museum housing an incredible collection of historical artefacts of the Royal Family including the Raven Crown worn by the 1st King of Bhutan and a range of traditional armour.
Pelela pass at 3300m is an important dividing range that separates Western Bhutan from Central and Eastern Bhutan. En route to Trongsa is Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points.
Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. All four kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne. 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.