Trashigang Dzong or ‘The Fortress of the Auspicious Hill’ built in 1659, is one of the Dzongs prophesized by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founder of Bhutan and played instrumental role in the unification of eastern Bhutan. It also defended external invasion from Tibet. Built on a very steep hill overlooking the Drangme Chhu River, the Dzong serves as the administrative seat for the Dzongkhag as well as the home of the monk body. It has 8 different lhakhangs.
According to legend, it is said that upon seeing the Dzong, invading Tibetan armies remarked that the Dzong was “not on the ground. It is a Sky Dzong before retreating. It has been the political stronghold of Eastern Bhutan for over 300 years.
Mount Meru is the site of the palace of the Druk Chhoglay Namgyal, which translates to “Victory of Bhutanese over enemies in all directions”. It is accessible only from the north, via a narrow road, paved by blasting through the cliff-side. Due to its location , Trashigang Dzong is one of the most strategically placed Dzongs in Bhutan. The present Dzong was enlarged by Dzongpon Dopola in 1936.
Trashigang Tshechu, Trashigang Dzong
According to legend, the sight of the Dzong scared the Tibetan army which retreated while remarking that the Dzong was a "Sky Dzong and was not on the ground". The dzong was further expanded by Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye between 1680 and 1694 and by Dzongpon Dopola in 1936.
The dzong was consecrated and named as Trashigang by Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Bhutan allowed Indian soldiers returning home to pass through Eastern Bhutan. However they were required to deposit their rifles at the armoury in the Dzong, and proceed through Bhutan unarmed. The rifles lie in the Dzong to this day. The dzong celebrates the four day long Trashigang Tshechu festival every year, with around 1500 people attending the celebrations on each day.