Tashicho Dzong is the fortress in Thimphu and it dates back to the 13th century but it was not in the present location which does not give any strategic advantage as it's on the flat ground. Gyelwa Lhanapa, the religious man who founded Lhapa school has built the dzong in Thimphu in 1216, and named Do Ngon dzong, 'Fortress of BlueStone which was on the northeast of the present location where present Dechenphodrang stands.
After Zhabdrug Ngawang Namgyel came to Bhutan, this became the property of him. And in 1641 Zhabdrung have finished reconstructing the fortress at same spot and name as Tashicho Dzong 'The Fortress of Auspicious Religion'.And it became the summer residence of Zhabdrung and the state clergy while Punakha served as a winter residence.
In 1772 the dzong suffered serious damage and the Desi of that time Yonten Thaye and Je Khenpo decided to reconstruct it but at the bottom of the valley where now stands. After the reconstruction, it caught fire in 1869 and the father of future first king Jigme Namgyel who was desi at that time have restored it in 1870.
After third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck had made Thimphu the permanent capital, he started to enlarge the fortress in 1962, and was completed in 1969. And now it houses the king's throne room and some of the government offices such as Ministery of Home and Cultural Affairs and Ministery of Finance. And it is also the winter capital for the monastic body.
Open: Every day from 17:30 to 18:30 in summer and 16:30 to 17:30 in winter in week days and from 09 to 17 in weekends and government holidays.
Dress Code: Formal, Gho and Kira with Kabney and Rachu for Bhutanese and for foreigners (Tourist) long pants and full sleeve shirts.
Entry Fee: Regional tourists from India, Maldives, and Bangladesh have to buy entry tickets but other nationalities don't have to buy entry tickets but have to show visa clearance copy.
Photography:Photography is allowed till court yard but not inside the temple.
The half of the fortress is used for administration where entries are restricted. And half is used by the monastic body and one can visit that side.
It has beautiful sculptures of Four Guardian Kings, Vajrapani the god of Energy and Power, tutelary diety Hayagriva with red paint with horse head and other gods and deities at the entrance.
Once you reach inside there is a big courtyard where the festivals take palce, and after that one can visit one of the temples. So at the entrance of the temple, you will see the painting of life of cycle and other cosmic mandalas. Inside the temple, the main figure is the Buddha shakyamuni. And also you will see 1000 buddha statue on the shelves on the walls.