Monday, January 19, 2009
Bhutan 1 Ngultrum 2006 UNC
Front: Royal emblem between facing dragons at center
Back: Simtokha Dzong palace
Five miles outside Thimphu city stands the 17th century fortress, Simtokha Dzong. Built in 1627, it is the first of many dzongs built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It was built to guard the two approaches, from southwest and east, as Shabdrung worked to establish stability and control during his early years of governance. It saw its share of action even during the civil war until 19th century. Until recently it housed the School of Language and Cultural Studies, which has since expanded beyond the dzong's capacity and moved on the slope above. It now houses a monastic school. The main temple of the dzong contains huge statues of Buddha Sakyamuni and eight Arhats. The temple is surrounded with finest examples of slate carving from outside.
Image and Info Obtained from Nirvana Expeditions (http://www.nirvanaexpeditions.com)