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Deep Dive Into History At National Library Of Bhutan

Deep Dive Into History At National Library Of Bhutan

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Established in 1967, the National Library of Bhutan is mostly an attraction for tourists because of its majestic *Dzong* like architecture. It is located the capital of Thimpu with its verdant mist-clad valleys and quaint streets.


It was established to meet the crucial purpose of preserving ancient *Dzongkha*and Tibetian texts. The *Dzongkha* or "Royal language" is the indigenous name for Bhutanese whose dialects are spoken by nearly half a million people in Bhutan. The shelves of this library are full of unbound pages of scriptures, stacked between wooden plates and wrapped in cloth. On the top floor, you can find copies of colonial letters sent by Bhutanese officials to British surveyors. It houses several old records and around 7000 old photographs depicting Bhutanese people and the royal family. Two of its most precious displays include the "Seven Treasuries" and "The collected works of Padma Karpo". The Seven Treasuries is a complete set of printing blocks for the manuscript by the famed monk Longchegpa. The collected "Works of Padma Karpo" on the other hand is a  complete set of xylographic printing blocks by the Kunkhyen Padma Karpo.

These printing blocks are used to create religious texts. The library is home to nearly 9000 printing blocks of this kind. The 6100 books that it holds include the largest book in the world which weighs over 68 kg and is two meters tall. The library also has texts relevant to Mahayana Buddhism and a rich collection of lithographs from whence scriptures and prayer flags were printed in the old days. So if you are a culture enthusiast with a love for ancient books, make sure you give this library a visit. 

Timings: Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5 pm.

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