Dechen Phodrang

At the end of the Gaden Lam is the Dechen Phodrang, the site of Thimphu’s original Trashi Chhoe Dzong. Since 1971 it has housed the state monastic school, and a long procession of monks often travels between here and the dzong. A team of 15 teachers provides an eight-year course to more than 450 students. The 12th-century paintings in the goemba’s Guru Lhakhang are being restored by a United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) project. The upper floor features a large figure of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal as well as the goenkhang (chapel devoted to protective and terrifying deities). The central figure in the downstairs chapel is the Buddha Sakyamuni.