Image by NULL Getty Images

This popular temple, perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu, hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo, who came from Ralung in Tibet. Parents traditionally come here to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessings for their young children from the protector deity Tamdrin (to the left in the grilled inner sanctum). Children are blessed by a phurba (ritual dagger) and given a sacred thread.

The interior murals are particularly fine. Give the resident astrologer your birth date and he will consult divination charts to decide which kind of protective prayer flags will benefit you (Nu 150 for the flags). Don't leave without checking out the shrine to the tshomen (mermaid) in the central courtyard and then taking in the excellent view from the back kora (pilgrim path), with its lovely black-and-gold prayer wheels.