Talakha Goemba


Poised high above Simtokha Dzong at 3080m, this 15th-century goemba offers spectacular views over the peaks to the north and south of the capital and along the Thimphu valley. The interior is unusually well lit, so you can see the detail of the fine murals inside, depicting various protector deities. The goenkhang (protector chapel) is adorned with ancient weaponry and Kalashnikov rifles captured from Assamese separatists during Operation All Clear.

The walking trail from Simtokha Dzong is now blocked, so the best approach is via the deeply rutted 4WD track that climbs up from the road to Wangdue Phodrang. On the way, you'll pass through Chamgang, home to Bhutan's main prison and numerous houses adorned with phallus symbols. Alternatively, visit on the last day of the Dagala Thousand Lakes trek. From the monastery, it's a strenuous six- to nine-hour hike up to the 4280m Talakha peak.

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