Trongsa, previously Tongsa is a town and capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. The name means "new village" in Dzongkha. The first temple was built in 1543 by the Drukpa lama Ngagi Wangchuk, who was the great-grandfather of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the unifier of Bhutan.
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Trongsa Dzong, meaning “The Dzong on the tip of a Dungkhar (Conch) of the never-changing country of Druk and the everlasting Dharma” was built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat.
All four kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop (“governor”) prior to ascending the throne. The dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Because of the dzong’s highly strategic position, on the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control effectively the whole of the central and eastern regions of the country from here.
It is built on a strategic location overlooking the Mangde chhu (river).
This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands impressively and provides visitors and insight into historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. It has four observation points resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon.
This watchtower (ta dzong) overlooking the dzong now houses an excellent museum. The five floors of displays focus on Buddhist art and royal memorabilia, including such varied treasures as the 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuk and the football boots used by the teenaged fourth king. You can drive here or walk up a steep staircase from town.
The most sacred religious item is a copy of the Padma Kathang, a biography of Guru Rinpoche written by his consort Yeshe Tsogyel. There are two lhakhangs inside the Ta Dzong; the Gesar Lhakhang is dedicated to the 19th-century penlop of Trongsa, Jigme Namgyal.
This two storied simple palace situated just above the highway in the town is the birth place of our Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was here that on 2nd May 1928, His Majesty was born to King Jigme Wangchuck and Ashi Puntsho Choden. He spent most of his early childhood days here in this Thurepang Palace. The other palace of interest is the Eundu Choling Palace which was the winter residence of the 1st King Ugyen Wangchuck.
Kuenga Rabten Palace: The 23 km. drive from Trongsa to Kuenga Rabten takes about an hour and passes through open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, so there is much of interest to observe in the fields and in the villages as one speed along.
The Chorten, built in the style of the great Bodhanath Chöten of Nepal, was constructed by Tshering Wangchuk son of Yon-Say and the Mahasiddha Zhidag in accordance with the prophecy of the Second Gangteng Tulku Tenzin Lekpai Dhundrup in order to subdue harmful, anti religious demons. It is located 41 km west of Trongsa in Bhutan at 2430 meters in elevation.
A Sambha Lhundrup Molam Chenmo festival is held there annually from the 21st to the 25th day of the 9th lunar month of the Bhutanese calendar.