Altitude: 2,300 m/7,600 feet
It takes about 4 hours from Phobjikha to reach Trongsa by car. Located at an altitude of 7600 feet above sea level, Trongsa forms the central hub of the nation and is historically the place from where the nation was unified. The landscape around Trongsa is spectacular and for miles on end, the Dzong seems to tease you, wondering if you will ever reach there.
Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, is the ancestral home of the Royal family. Both the first and second King ruled the country from the ancient seat. All four Kings held the post of Trongsa Penlop (Honorary Governor) prior to being crowned as the King. The Dzong is massive structure with many levels, which slope down the contours of a hill on which it perches. Because of its highly strategic position as the only connecting route between east and west, the Trongsa Penlop was able to control the whole eastern region effectively. It is in this Dzong the annual Trongsa Festival is performed during December or January.
Ta Dzong, this watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion, stands impressively and provides visitors an insight into historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan's history. It is now one of the best museums in the country.
Kungarabten, about 15 miles from Trongsa was the winter palace of second King Jigme Wangchuk. It is a splendid building with superb woodwork and decorations. The 1st floor was used as storage for food, 2nd floor as the residence of royal attendance and the army, 3rd floor as the royal residence and king's chapel. Part of this floor is presently used as Library. The top floor is an alter room with statues of Sakyamuni, the Shabdrung and Guru Rimpoche. Right above the palace is the nunnery; it is about 40 minutes walk uphill.