Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in Bhutan was built to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing the travelers of the region.
Simtokha Dzong- ‘Palace of Secret Mantras’Simtokha Dzong, also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang, is said to be the first Dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629. There were many Dzongs in Bhutan, but this was the first Dzong whose entire structure has survived for so long in the country. The location of this Dzong is said to guard a demon that had vanished into the rock nearby. And, therefore the name of Simtokha comes from simmo ‘demoness’ and do ‘stone’. The Dzong is a small one but has been attacked several times in its almost 400-year-old history and holds a significant position in both the history and geography of Bhutan.
Is there any past of Simtokha Dzong?Simtokha Dzong is considered to be oldest as well as the first Dzong in Bhutan. According to the legend, the history of Simtokha Dzong says-
- Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was one of the greatest builders who decided to build Dzongs to defend the country from both the internal foes and external enemies and he started with the Simtokha Dzong.
- During construction, this Dzong was attacked by Tibetans and 5 Bhutanese lamas who were opposed to the Zhabdrungs rule.
- In 1630, the Tibetans again attacked this Dzong and took control of the Dzong.
- The Zhabdrung regained control when the main building caught fire and the roof collapsed, killing the invaders and restored its structure.
A Great historical importance lies behind this Dzong-Located 5 km south of Thimphu, Simtokha Dzong stands is at a position which shared its boundary with 3 western regions: Sha (Wangdue Phodrang), Wang (Thimphu) and Pa (Paro). To fulfill the prophecy and honor the offer of Lama Pangka Shong, Zhabdrung decided to build the Dzong which will help to guard the entrance to the adjoining valleys leading to Dochu La and eastern Bhutan.
Alluring Architecture of Simtokha Dzong-This Dzong has only 1 entrance gate, 3 floors and a central tower called Utse with 12 sides. Simtokha Dzong covers almost 650 sq ft of the area.
Get amazed by the beauty of Simtokha Dzong-You can explore here-
- Painting on the right-hand side of the entrance
- Prayer wheels with an array of 300 slate carvings
- A large image of Sakyamuni Buddha along with the 8 images of bodhisattvas
- A chapel of Chenrisig, green and white Taras
- Images of tiger’s tail and guns on the pillars