Trongsa

Situated right in the middle of the country Trongsa is separated from the east and west by high mountain ranges. Its strategic position at the junction of ancient trade routes means it has always exerted great influence over the rest of the country – this is the home of the ancestral royal family. Even today the Crown Prince must serve as the Penlop (regional governor) of the dzong before he can rule as king. Seen from miles around a caravan route once ran right through the dzong and the Penlop collected taxes from the traders passing through. The road now takes a different route, but a great way to appreciate its importance is to leave your car and hike for a couple of hours down a steep track and over the cantilevered bridge to the western gate. Giant prayer wheels and wall paintings decorate the temples that come to life when monks migrate here from Bumthang during the summer months.

On a hill above the dzong  a watchtower which once served to protect the monarchy now houses an interesting museum and offers wonderful views over the surrounding area.

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