National Library


The National Library was established in 1967 to preserve ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts. For tourists it's of interest mainly for its dzong-like traditional architecture, but the shelves inside are full of important scriptures, made of unbound pages stacked between wooden plates and wrapped in cloth. Dotted here and there are historical photos and on the top floor is a copy of a letter sent from the Druk Desi (secular ruler) to British army officer and surveyor Samuel Turner in 1783.

Historical manuscripts are kept on the top floor and include texts from the famous Tibetan printing presses of Derge and Narthang. Scriptures from all religious schools are represented, including the Bön tradition. Also on display are carved wooden blocks used for printing, and a copy of the world's largest published book – a 2m-tall coffee-table tome called Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom. Shoes must be left outside.

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