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Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong

Thimphu, Bhutan

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Description Tashichhoedzong 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, 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.HistoryThe original Thimphu dzong was built in 1216 by Lama Gyalwa Lhanapa, founder of the Lhapa branch of the Drikung Kagyu, at the place where Dechen Phodrang Monastery now stands on a ridge above the present Tashichö-dzong. In 1641 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal took over that Dzong from the Lhapa Kagyu, reconsecrated, and renamed it Tashichö-dzong. It was then established as the main seat of the Southern Drukpa Kagyu and the summer residence of the monastic body or sangha headed by Shabdrung Rinpoche. Most of this original dzong was destroyed by fire in 1772 and a new dzong was built at the present site by the sixteenth Desi, Sonam Lhudrup, and it was then consecrated by the thirteenth Je Khenpo, Je Yonten Taye, who named the new Dzong Sonamchö-dzong. Following the death of the Desi it was renamed Tashichö-dzong after the old Dzong.Tashichö Dzong was again destroyed by fire three different times as well seriously damaged by an earthquake. Each time it was rebuilt by the Desi and Je Khenpo of the time. In 1962, after the capital was moved from Punakha to Thimphu, the present Dzong was rebuilt by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, as the seat of Government following a different plan from the old one. Only the central Utse tower, the Lhakhang Sarp, and main Gönkhang remain from the earlier Dzong. After its completion in 1968, the new Tashichö Dzong was consecrated by the 66th Je Khenpo Yonten Tarchin; the 16th Ka

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