The Kuenga Rabten Palace under the Trongsa District formerly served as the winter residence for the second king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and his junior consort, Ashi Pem Dechen. Constructed in 1928, it has been well preserved on account of its royal connections.
The Palace is located just beneath the motor road and it stands on the slope overlooking the mighty Mangdue River. As soon as you cross the threshold of the courtyard, you feel the aura of the past and your experiences from other such sites get further replenished with the contemplation of the elegance of the conventional complex.
Like most palaces, the Kuenga Rabten Palace is surrounded by stone walls with spy-holes which were used by the royal guards to check on the adversaries. A gallery runs around the courtyard on all four sides. To the left of the central tower there is a royal apartment and an outside where the royal bodyguards would stay. The central tower (utse), which has finely decorated woodwork, is a three-storey building. The ground floor and the second floor, which were once used respectively as a granary and a military garrison, are now empty. On the third floor, there are three adjoining rooms. The main entrance leads into the central room, known as the Sangye Lhakhang, which contains images of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Twenty-one Aspects of Tara. The room to the left was the private residence of King Jigme Wangchuck, while the room to the right is the Kangyur Lhakhang, now housing part of the National Library of Bhutan, to which the Palace is presently affiliated
Really appreciate YANA's professional organization of the entire trip. Could not imagine how a trekking trip could such be well organized - more or less like a 5-star hotel with the only difference of we were at more than 3,000 above sea level. Special thanks to Yeshey and the chef who had given tons of assistance when I was descending due to attitude sickness. - Simon Liu, Hong Kong