Saturday, September 14, 2013

Currency Today : Bhutan 03

In this third article on banknotes of Bhutan, I present the 100 and 500 ngultrum notes.

100 ngultrum - front
On the front side of the 100 ngultrum note, we see again the portrait of the former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (same image as on the 10 ngultrum note).

100 ngultrum - back
The back side of the note, shows an amazing Dzong, the buddhist temple Tashichho Dzong, in the city of Thimphu.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan, situated in the western part of the country.
With more or less  80,000 habitants, it is also the largest city in Bhutan.
the buddhist temple Tashichho Dzong - city of Thimphu
Tashichho Dzong stands on the left side of the Thimphu/Wang chhu river.
In 1641 Zhabdrung built the Tashicho Dzong (Fortress of the auspicious religion) in place of the Dho Ngon (Blue stone) Dzong built by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa.
In 1698, the dzong caught fire and was restored.  The dzong caught fire for a second time during the reign of the 16th Desi and 13th Je Khenpo. In 1869, the dzong once again caught fire. His Majesty the Second King initiated the renovation of the Dzong in 1962. Today, Trashichho dzong houses the secretariat, throne room, and offices of the King of Bhutan. The northern section is the Je Khenpo and Central Monk Body’s residence.

500 ngultrum - front
The 500 ngultrum note show a king we haven't seen so far on this set of banknotes. It is King Ugyen Wangchuk (1st King) wearing a Raven Crown.
King Ugyen Wangchuk reigned from December 17, 1907 till August 21, 1926.

500 ngultrum - back
The back side of the note shows the Punkha dzong - the palace of great happiness.
Constructed by Zhabdrung (Shabdrung) Ngawang Namgyal in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa. Punakha Dzong was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.

Punkha dzong -  city of Punakha
This dzong is located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley. Because of the soft climate, Punakha is also called the summer capital of Bhutan.

... to be continued ...

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