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Bhutan

Small city at the border with India, it raises up at the connection of the limitless plains of Bengala and the big Himalayan watershed, with its 7000-meters peaks. The imposing “Portale Pagoda” of the city symbolically represents the passage to the other hemisphere: from Hinduism to Lama’s Buddhism, from European people to Mongolian ones. 
The capital of Bhutan is situated at 2300 m o.s.l. in the Wang Chu valley: on the banks of the river, between the terrace wane of the paddy fields and the weeping willows, the Tashicho Dzong or “fortress of the glorious religion” raises up, the biggest monastery of the country. The large complex is the summery residence of the monastic and religious corps, the Je Khempo. In the center of the monastery a temple called “Uchi” raises up, with its splendid religious paintings. Not very far, in Dechencholing, is found the residence of the Royal Family. 
In one of the least high valleys of Central Bhutan, it is found at the confluence of two rivers, well known for the pleasant climate, the old capital is an immense fortified palace. The road that leads from Thimpu to Punakha offers one of the best views of the country. 
An armonious environment made up of paddy fields, clearings stud with weeping willows and wooden huts. In the north, between the far away forestry mountains, shines the Chomolhari with its five peaks. A strategic place, situated along the two most important commercial routes that connected Bhutan and Tibet, that is nowadays showed by the fortress that dominates the entire valley.
Starting from the Tongsa and continuing eastward you arrive to this wide valley composed of small villages and very old monasteries. In the center of the valley, on a barren peak, raises up the Jaker Dzong surrounded by an impressing one-km-and-a-half-circumference wall. According to the tradition, the Kurje Lhakhang and the Jampa Lhakhang preserve some signs of the body of Padma Sambhava impressed into the rock. 
Situated at 3140 m o.s.l. it offers a splendid view of the eastern Himalaya. In a luxuriant forest stand out rhododendrons, alders, cypresses, hemlocks, firs and daphne, thousands of sacred drapes (tangka) surround 108 Chortens (the Tibetan name for stupas), built to commemorate the battles fought at the border with Assam. 
In a dominant location, on a high peak, raises up this strategic fortress built during the XVII c. In the inside there are precious sculptures and paintings and eight imposing Bodhistavas showing ritual gestures. Like in many other dzongs the believers traditionally pray while walking in a circular motion pushing the “Praying Wheels”. 
Old residence of the actual Royal Family, it raises up at 2000 m o.s.l. and is considered the most spectacular dzong of the country for its location that offers splendid views of the valley of the Mangde river.
Picturesque monastery built on a small hill at the confluence of the rivers Sandosh and Tang Chu in the fertile Wang valley of Phodrang. The district is also known for the making of bamboo and the engraving of slate. 
Built by Shabdring Ngawang Namgyal in 1649 to commemorate the victory against the Tibetan invaders of 1644, it offers a spectacular view of the Jhomolhari mount. 
Called “the Tiger’s Nest”, it was built in the XIV c. surrounding the grotto where Guru Rinpoche, who came riding a tiger, meditated for 3 months in the VIII c.; for sure it is the most known place in Buthan, suspended on some rocks over the valley. To facilitate the climbing of about 2 hours and a half, you can rent a mule, arriving to the refuge where there is a sublime view. 
Respectively fortress temple of Paro (XVII c.) and one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan: the foundation of this last one is attributed to the King of Tibet Songrsen Gampo (VIII c.). It was built with chorten style on a cylindrical flat surface of more levels and it contains some really precious statues of Cenresi.
Here there are the Ministers house, the National Assembly room, the King’s throne room and the summery residence of the abbot of Bhutan, leader of the Bhutanese monks.
The second oldest dzong of Bhutan, built in the XVII c., it is composed of various temples among which the Machey Lhakhang, where the bodies of the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal abbot and the Saint Pema Lingpa rest. The most beautiful and historically important one of the country, it is also the winter abode of the Je Khempo (abbot of Bhutan).