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Full nameThimphu
Official nameThimphu
Native nameཐིམ་ཕུ་ (dz)
DistrictThimphu District
TypeConstitutional Monarchy
KingJigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk
Elevation7656 ft (2333.5 m)
Total Population79185 (2005)
Density (pop.)3029/km2 (7845.1/sq mi)

     Home | City | Thimphu

Thimphu ( , Dzongkha: ཐིམ་ཕུ་) also spelt Thimpu, is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan and the name of the surrounding valley is dzongkhag, the Thimphu District. The city became the capital of Bhutan in 1961. As of 2005 it had a population of 79,185, with 98,676 people living in the entire Thimphu district.

The city is spread out longitudinally in a north-south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Wang Chuu, also known as the Thimphu Chuu River. Thimphu is located at and is spread over an altitudinal range between 2248 m (7375.3 ft) and 2648 m (8687.7 ft). Unusually for a capital city, Thimphu is not served by an airport, but relies on the airport at Paro, connected by road some 54 kilometres (34 mi) away.

Thimphu, as the political and economic centre of Bhutan, has a dominant agricultural and livestock base, which contributes to 45% of the country's GNP. Tourism, though a contributor to the economy, is strictly regulated, maintaining a balance between the traditional and development and modernization. Thimphu contains most of the important political buildings in Bhutan, including the National Assembly of the newly formed parliamentary democracy and Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King, located to the north of the city. As a metropolis and capital city, Thimphu is coordinated by the "Thimphu Structure Plan", an Urban Development Plan which evolved in 1998 with the objective of protecting the fragile ecology of the valley. This development is ongoing with financial assistance from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of literature, religion, customs, and national dress code, the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and in the media. Tsechu festival is an important festival when mask dances, popularly known as Cham dances, are performed in the courtyards of the Tashichhoe Dzong in Thimphu. It is a four day festival held every year during Autumn (September/October), on dates corresponding to the Bhutanese calendar.

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