Bhutan CultureBhutan TempleBhutan Monastery
Bhutan Bhutan
Trongsa Dzong is one of the oldest Dzongs in Bhutan.







Trongsa Dzong

Trongsa Dzong: The Druk Minjur Chhoekhor Rabtentse Dzong

Built 463 years ago, the dzong's street-like corridors, wide stone stairs, beautiful flagstone courtyards and sacred temples have been witness to many significant events that have shaped Bhutanese history since the 16th century.

Trongsa Dzong today represents an important link with Bhutan's precious institution of monarchy.

It was the dzong where future Kings formalised their ascension as Chhoetse Penlop before ascending the Golden Throne. Trongsa Dzong is the place where the investiture ceremony of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, as the Chhoetse Penlop has taken place in October 2004.

The announcement of the renovation of the Trongsa dzong, by His Majesty the King, during the beginning of the eighth five year plan was welcomed by the people of Trongsa. Today, the enthusiasm and joy of the people of Trongsa remain unabated as they see a sacred monument being preserved and restored to its original glory. "The Trongsa dzong is a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural and religious heritage which we have inherited from our forefathers and the announcement that efforts would be made to preserve and restore was a source of great joy to us," said the Trongsa chimi. Now we can pass on the legacy to the future generations of Bhutanese who can also look on it with equal pride." Karma of Korphu said that the people of Trongsa saw the renovation as an opportunity to contribute in any way they could to preserving a part of Bhutanese history. "We, the people of Trongsa, are ready to assist in any way we can to ensure that the dzong stands for many more centuries," he said. "It is a monument that the people of Trongsa are proud to have."

Trongsa Dzong: Significance

Trongsa Dzong before the restauration
The announcement of the renovation of the Trongsa dzong, by His Majesty the King, during the beginning of the eighth five year plan was welcomed by the people of Trongsa. Today, the enthusiasm and joy of the people of Trongsa remain unabated as they see a sacred monument being preserved and restored to its original glory.

"The Trongsa dzong is a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural and religious heritage which we have inherited from our forefathers and the announcement that efforts would be made to preserve and restore was a source of great joy to us," said the Trongsa chimi.

Now we can pass on the legacy to the future generations of Bhutanese who can also look on it with equal pride." Karma of Korphu said that the people of Trongsa saw the renovation as an opportunity to contribute in any way they could to preserving a part of Bhutanese history. "We, the people of Trongsa, are ready to assist in any way we can to ensure that the dzong stands for many more centuries," he said. "It is a monument that the people of Trongsa are proud to have."

Tashi Dorji of Drakteng geog said that the renovations were timely in that the government had taken the initiative to restore the dzong before any major irreversible damages could occur. "The Trongsa dzong is a precious historical monument and if anything were to happen to it, it will be a great loss not only to the dzongkhag but also to the nation as a whole," he said.

The Trongsa dzongda, Dasho Dophu Tshering, said that the preservation of the Trongsa dzong was important to the dzongkhag and the entire country. "The Trongsa dzong is of national significance because it is where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan began," he said. "The dzong is also one of the largest structures measuring about 227 meters and is home to the second largest monastic body in the country."

The secretary of the Trongsa Rabdey, Dungchen Zeko, expressed his happiness at the government's initiative to preserve the Trongsa dzong saying that the renovation would benefit the monk body and the people of the dzongkhag. "The Trongsa dzong will stand as a great symbol of our unique identity as a sovereign and independent Buddhist nation," he said.

Trongsa Dzong: Significance

Trongsa Dzong before the restauration
The announcement of the renovation of the Trongsa dzong, by His Majesty the King, during the beginning of the eighth five year plan was welcomed by the people of Trongsa. Today, the enthusiasm and joy of the people of Trongsa remain unabated as they see a sacred monument being preserved and restored to its original glory.

"The Trongsa dzong is a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural and religious heritage which we have inherited from our forefathers and the announcement that efforts would be made to preserve and restore was a source of great joy to us," said the Trongsa chimi.

Now we can pass on the legacy to the future generations of Bhutanese who can also look on it with equal pride." Karma of Korphu said that the people of Trongsa saw the renovation as an opportunity to contribute in any way they could to preserving a part of Bhutanese history. "We, the people of Trongsa, are ready to assist in any way we can to ensure that the dzong stands for many more centuries," he said. "It is a monument that the people of Trongsa are proud to have."

Tashi Dorji of Drakteng geog said that the renovations were timely in that the government had taken the initiative to restore the dzong before any major irreversible damages could occur. "The Trongsa dzong is a precious historical monument and if anything were to happen to it, it will be a great loss not only to the dzongkhag but also to the nation as a whole," he said.

The Trongsa dzongda, Dasho Dophu Tshering, said that the preservation of the Trongsa dzong was important to the dzongkhag and the entire country. "The Trongsa dzong is of national significance because it is where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan began," he said. "The dzong is also one of the largest structures measuring about 227 meters and is home to the second largest monastic body in the country."

The secretary of the Trongsa Rabdey, Dungchen Zeko, expressed his happiness at the government's initiative to preserve the Trongsa dzong saying that the renovation would benefit the monk body and the people of the dzongkhag. "The Trongsa dzong will stand as a great symbol of our unique identity as a sovereign and independent Buddhist nation," he said.

Trongsa Dzong: The Druk Minjur Chhoekhor Rabtentse Dzong

Trongsa Dzong consecrated: A rich history restored
Austria
Completely restored to its former glory in a major restoration and renovation project begun in 1999, the Trongsa Dzong was sanctified with the sacred consecration (rabney) ceremony on October 28, 2004 corresponding to the 15th day of the ninth month of the Wood Monkey year.

The former Je Khenpo, His Holiness Nyizer Trulku, Dorji Lopon Kuenley of the central monk body, and the monks of the Chhoetse rabdey performed the Lama Chhoepa Rabney (dedicated to Guru Aradhana) and Gyalpoi ginseg (fire offering to remove obstacles) to sanctify the magnificent monument.

The rabney ceremony was attended by the prime minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, the home minister, Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley, Austrian ambassador to Bhutan, Dr. Jutta Stefan-Bastl, senior Bhutanese and Austrian officials, as well as representatives of the people of Mangdue Tshozhi.

The Tashi Ngasol procession

Tashi Ngasol ceremony
The sacred rabney concluded with the unique Tashi Ngasol ceremony where the entire gathering participated in an elaborate procession to circumambulate the dzong. The procession, representing all life forms, carried the Tashi Ta-gye (eight lucky signs), Tashi Ze-gye (eight precious objects), and the Gyalse Ngaduen (seven treasures of a universal King), and offered prayers in the ultimate celebration of the auspicious occasion.

After the ceremony, His Holiness Nyizer Trulku offered the Tashi Ze-gye to Prime Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba. Austrian Assistance

The renovation project was announced by His Majesty the King at the beginning of the eighth five-year plan in 1997 following several studies conducted by the Austrian government. The last renovation on the Trongsa Dzong had been done in 1879 following damage caused by an earthquake.

About Nu.100 million was spent on the renovation and restoration of the dzong, 75 percent of the funds from the government of Austria and the rest funded by the government. According to the people of Mangdue Tshozhi the consecration of the Trongsa Dzong was not only a joyous occasion but also an event that strengthened history and tradition.

"The Tashi Rabney of the historic Trongsa Dzong is a re-enforcement of the priorities and values that has survived and strengthened over the centuries," gup Phuentsho of Nubi geog reported. He said that the people of Trongsa saw the renovation as an opportunity to preserve a part of Bhutanese history. "The Trongsa dzong is a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural and religious heritage which we have inherited from our forefathers and it has a national significance because it is where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan began," said the secretary of Chhoetse Rabdey, Lopon Zeko who added that the preservation of the Trongsa dzong was important to the dzongkhag and the entire country. The dzong is home to the second largest monastic body in the country.

Prime Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba
The sacred rabney concluded with the unique Tashi Ngasol ceremony where the entire gathering participated in an elaborate procession to circumambulate the dzong. The procession, representing all life forms, carried the Tashi Ta-gye (eight lucky signs), Tashi Ze-gye (eight precious objects), and the Gyalse Ngaduen (seven treasures of a universal King), and offered prayers in the ultimate celebration of the auspicious occasion.

The people of Mangdue Tshozhi expressed their deep appreciation to the government of Austria for funding the restoration of the historical dzong. "We would like to express our appreciation to the Austrian government for providing financial support to renovate our Chhokhor Rabtentse Dzong," said gup Phuentsho and Lopon Zeko.

As the oldest and one of the largest dzongs in Bhutan Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba said that the Trongsa Dzong was of great importance to Bhutan as it is where the institution of monarchy in Bhutan began. On behalf of the royal government and people of Bhutan, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba expressed his appreciation to the government and the people of Austria for their financial support to preserve and restore Trongsa dzong.

Austrian Ambassador Dr. Jutta Stefan-Bastl said that the government of Austria was happy for being able to contribute in preserving and restoring the historical Trongsa dzong which is a symbol of Bhutan's rich cultural and religious heritage. "I think we can tell our people back home about the money spent on Trongsa dzong was well utilized and contributes to the national identity and the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people," said the ambassador.

Trongsa Dzong: The Druk Minjur Chhoekhor Rabtentse Dzong

Trongsa Dzong: Renovation and restoration of the dzong

Trongsa Dzong before the restauration

Among the most important sections of the dzong that were completely reconstructed were the Minjur Lhakhang, the Zimchungsarp, the Chorten Lhakhang and the lower Drashag. The portal and adjoining buildings were also dismantled and reconstructed in their original locations by artisans from different parts of the country.

According to the project manager of the Trongsa Dzong Renovation Project, Kinley Wangchuk, the renovation work had to be done very carefully because many parts of the dzong had become fragile with age.

"Most of the structures within the dzong were adjoining the damaged areas and had to be dismantled part by part," the manager said.

The other renovation works included support to the portal building, drainage in the inner courtyard, disposal drains outside the dzong, relocation of the monks' residences, reconstruction of toilets for upper and lower Dashags, construction of retaining walls over the slide prone areas on the western side of the dzong and electrification work for all the renovated areas.

The roof was also repaired, the entire dzong white washed and painted, and the ancient frescos that decorate the dzong's walls were restored. The project improved and relocated the tarey (horse stable) and monk body's kitchen outside the dzong to reduce the risk of fire, constructed the Bazam (traditional bridge), the dzong security house, renovated the Chokhor Mani, installed a Serto Jabjee for Jam Lhakhang, electrified the Drashag adjoining the Zimchungsarp and constructed the dzong archery ground. The salt room will be improved and lightening protection for the entire dzong installed.

Trongsa Dzong: History

A rich history Nestled on a hill, overlooking the Mangdechu river, the Trongsa dzong is a testimony of Bhutan's architectural heritage, political history, rich traditions and cultures. This imposing structure, witness to various significant events which has shaped Bhutanese history, has a rich legacy left behind by religious and political leaders from the 16th century onwards.

Trongsa Dzong before the restauration
The origins of the Trongsa dzong date back to the time of Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk who meditated at the village of Yueli, in Trongsa in 1541, a few kilometers above the present Dzong. There he saw the vision of Pelden Lhamo. One night during his meditation, Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk saw a butter lamp light up below the ridge of the present goenkhang housing Bhutan's guardian deities, Pelden Lhamo (Mahakali), Yeshey Goembo, Leki Goembo.

A visit to the site revealed the footprints of a steed and the lhatsho (scared pond) of the guardian deity, Pelden Lhamo. Realising that the place was a ney (sacred site) he built a meditation quarter (tshamkhang). During his meditation a vision of the deity Pelden Lhamo appeared. This led him to construct a small temple which he named Mondrupde. Over the years Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk's disciples built smaller meditation centers near the Mondrupde lhakhang which soon began to resemble a small village. The people of Yueli named this new settlement Trong-sar (meaning a new village). In 1647, Chhoeje Minjur Tenpa was appointed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel as the first Trongsa Penlop and Shabdrung's representative to Trongsa. On the instructions of the Zhabdrung he constructed the dzong which resembled a fort and housed various lhakhangs. He also built the present goenkhang on the same spot where Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk saw his vision.

The dzong was later named Druk Minjur Choekhor Rabten Tse by Chhoeje Minjur Tenpa which translated into "the Dzong, built on the tip of a dungkhar (conch), of the never changing country of Druk where the dharma is everlasting".

Chhoeje Minjur Tenpa is also credited for the extension of the dzong in 1652, with the construction of the Poekhang or Minjur Lhakhang and at the end of the 17th centuryDesi Tenzin Rabgye expanded the dzong. Desi Tenzin Rabgye consecrated the Goenkhang of Pelden Lhamo and Yeshey Goembo in 1667.

In 17151, Penlop Druk Dendrup built the Chenreyzig Lhakhang and in 1765 the Trongsa Penlop, Zhidar, established the Trongsa Rabdey dratshang with about 50 monks. In 1927King Jigme Wangchuck renovated the Chenreyzig Lhakhang.

In 1853, the tenth Trongsa Penlop, Jigme Namgyel, built the Dechhog Lhakhang in the central section of the Dzong. According to legend, prior to the consecration of the Dechhog image and the Dechhog Lhakhang, two disciples of Lam Jangchu Tsindup arrived from Tibet with the sacred self created (rangjung) image of Dorji Phagmo, one of the 21 Rangjung Kharsa Pani, a religious relic formed miraculously from the spinal bone of Tsangpa Jarey, the patriarch of the Drukpa Kargyue sect. The sacred rangjung was offered to Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel and is today housed in a Gaw (amulet) placed at the center of a life size silver image of the Dorje Phagmo in the Dechhog Lhakhang.

In all, the dzong has 25 lhakhangs, including the Chorten Lhakhang built by Yongzin Ngagi Wangchuk in 1543, housing sacred images and religious treasures and the intricate wood carvings and beautiful frescos that decorate the walls and pillars are a testimony to Bhutan's rich religious and culture traditions.

Today, more than 460 years after it was established as a meditation quarter, the dzong is a magnificent example of ancient traditional Bhutanese construction techniques and aestheticism.





Request a Quote for Bhutan Tour

(* represents compulsory fields)
Hotel Category:*
Approximate Budget:
Start Date:*
End Date:*
No. of Persons: Adults:                   Children: 
Rooms Required: Single:      Double:     Triple: 
Cities/Destinations you would like to travel:
Any Preferences:
Contact Information:
Your Name:*
Your E-Mail:*
Nationality Indian Resident Non Indian Resident
Phone: Include Country/Area Code
Fax: Include Country/Area Code
Street Address:
City:
State:
Zip/Postal Code:
Country:*









Copyright © Himalayas