Stay at the Uma Bhutan conveniently located to access the country’s unique cultural landmarks and the natural beauty of the Paro valley. With unparalleled views of its surroundings, this much awarded Bhutan hotel provides guests with modern comforts and luxuries in a traditional setting and introduces guests to the many little intricacies of Bhutanese life. This unique Paro hotel will undoubtedly provide a truly unforgettable holiday experience and a great introduction to the extraordinary culture of Bhutan.
Perched atop a vertiginous cliff at an elevation of 3200 meters overlooking a picturesque valley, Tashigang Dzong or monastery was known as the Fortress of the Auspicious Mountain since the late 17th century when it was built by the third deb of Bhutan. This monastery cum administrative centre cum fort was a key element in a line of forts to keep out invaders and as such was probably the most important facility in Tashigang district eastern Bhutan even accommodating the offices of the district commissioner till 2007 when they were relocated due to its precarious state. Earth quakes and the weather seem to have wreaked havoc on the 352 year old structure which is reportedly on the verge of collapse and has been under renovation since 2007. However many monks continue to live here as they have no other abode and the monastery continues to be popular with many devotees who stream here particularly on Buddhist holidays. Interestingly the monastery was also one of the main links on the tea caravan trail that served as the main trade route between India and China.
The monastery complex was enlarged at various times and currently comprises of old and ‘new’ structures and among the interesting features in the ‘new’ structure are beautiful frescos, several Buddhist statues and images of other deities, gurus and saints, an attention grabbing Tibetan drum and a collection of Buddhist religious texts. The old structure which is below that of the ‘new’ has an idol of Sakyamuni. Both structures have been built according to the sacred mandala design with shrine rooms, prayer and meditation halls, accommodation for monks and a stupa. The monastery is very much a part of Bhutan’s unique architectural heritage. Although highway 22 from India connects Tashigang to Namgaya and Shimla, one of the popular ways of approaching the monastery is on the trekking route all the way from Namgaya.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.