Domkhar dzong/palace is located just above the village of Domkhar (cf. Domkhar tsechu) on the left bank of the Chhume river, almost facing Tharpaling monastery. It is a short walk from the main road but there is also an access road.
The 2nd King Jigme Wangchuck built the Domkhar palace in Chhume valley in 1937 as a summer palace for himself and his elder Queen, Ashi Phuntsho Choeden. It was restored in 2004 to be the residence of the then Trongsa Penlop, now the 5th King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Architectural style / school and related art works:
It presents the typical features of the palace architecture of the first half of the 20th century.
A stone paved courtyard is enclosed on all sides by two-storey high buildings forming a rectangle (shagkhor). On one side of the courtyard stands the main tower (Utse) three storey’s high. The windows, although very narrow at the bottom of the buildings, encompass the entire upper floors, forming wall-like windows. The stonework and the woodwork are magnificent. The religious wall paintings in Domkhar are of great iconographic and artistic value.
Social cultural function
It is a symbol of the monarchy and a testimony of the itinerant court and life style that the 2nd King used to have, changing valleys according to seasons. The palace cannot be visited.
Close by is Trashichoeling monastic school. This monastic school located just behind Domkhar and built by the 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck for the 16th Karmapa in 1968.
is now disused. It contains unique paintings typical of the Tibetan painting style called “Karma Gadri” which was very prevalent in Eastern Tibet.
It is characterized by uncluttered spaces, a focus on landscapes and pale colors.