Trongsa is the capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. It means “new village” in Dzongkha. It is one of Bhutan’s most historic towns, with the first monastery built here in 1543 by the Drukpa Kagyu lama, Ngagi Wangchuk, who was the great-grandfather of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the person who unified Bhutan.
One of its key landmarks is Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong fortress in Bhutan. For centuries, it was the seat of the Wangchuck dynasty of penlops (governors) who effectively ruled over much of eastern and central Bhutan, and from 1907 have been Kings of Bhutan. Traditionally the King of Bhutan first becomes the Trongsa Penlop (governor) before being named Crown Prince and eventually King. Trongsa Dzong is also a major monastic complex, with around 200 monks.
Another attraction is Trongsa’s Thruepang Palace, used by reigning monarchs when on official visits to Trongsa. The building is closed to the public and like many of the early palaces is unimposing, but from an architectural and historical point of view it is still worth viewing.
Ta Dzong (Trongsa)
Ta Dzong is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong on the left bank of the Mangde river. It is a short, steep walk from the main Trongsa town. A road now also makes Ta Dzong accessible from behind. The building is a massive circular five-storey tower flanked by two lower towers. Two smaller, free-standing towers are below the main building.
Ta Dzong, which means “watchtower”, was built by Choeje Minjur Tenpa, the first governor of Trongsa, in the year 1652. The tower stood guard over the Trongsa Dzong to protect the main stronghold of the town from any external threats. Since peace came to Bhutan, the tower has lost its military function.
The museum was opened in 2008, in celebration of three auspicious occasions: enthronement of the fifth King, recognition of 100 years of Monarchy and introduction of democracy in the country. The museum showcases some of the rare and priceless artifacts belonging to the monarchy.