Known as “fortress of glorious religion”, The Tashichho Dzong is an impressive structure with three storey towers on the four corners of the building.
The original Thimphu Dzong, “Dho-Ngon” (Blue Stone) was built in 1216 on a hill above where Dechenphodrang is today. (This was destroyed in a fire in 1771.)
In 1641 Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal wanted to house both the Administrative and Monastic Body together, but it was too small so further down the valley along the Wangchhu River, the Tashichho Dzong was built.
The Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck moved his capital from Punakha to Thimphu in 1962 and started a five year project to enlarge and renovate in the traditional style.
The Tashichho Dzong became the Secretariat housing, The Original Hall of the National Assembly, The Throne Room, Office of the King and different Ministries.
Today The Tashichho Dzong is still the Summer Residence of the Monk Body and Offices of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.
The Original Hall of the National Assembly is located to the right as you enter the large open air flagstone courtyard, which enshrines a huge statue of Buddha Shakyamuni.
In the center of the courtyard is the “Utse” central tower which was never touched during any of renovations.
The small Neykhang Lhakhang, west of the dzong, houses the local protective deities Gyenyen Jagpa Melen and Dorji Daktshen. Here visitors are not allowed.
In the North, a newly constructed festival ground, a large open-air courtyard, hosts the dances of the annual Tsechu. The Sangay Tsokhorsum Thondrol (embroidered religious scroll) is unfurled annually at the Tshechu.