Pangri Zampa

Buddhist Monastery in North of Thimphu

Founded in the early 16th century, this complex is a college for traditional astrology. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lived here after he arrived in 1616 because this temple appeared in the vision that directed him from Tibet to Bhutan. It's a photogenic stop even if none of the chapels are open. The two huge cypress trees in front of the complex are said to be the biggest in the country.

The complex gets its name from the photogenic traditional bridge beside the complex. The well-respected head astrologer here was entrusted to divine the auspicious date for the king's coronation in 2008. The next-door Drolma Zhingkham Lhakhang was built recently by the Royal Grandmother and is dedicated to 21 images of Tara. The nearby Dechenphu Lhakhang is home to Gyenyen, the valley's protective deity, and is off-limits to tourists.