Ellynn Neighbors

Ellynn Neighbors

Published: 25 Sep 2023

Source: Wikipedia.org

The National Library of Bhutan is a treasure trove of knowledge and an architectural marvel that has enthralled visitors from around the world. Located in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu, this esteemed institution holds a special place in the hearts of Bhutanese people as a center for learning and preserving their rich cultural heritage. Serving as both a library and a cultural center, the National Library boasts an extensive collection of ancient manuscripts, books, and documents that offer a glimpse into the history, religion, and literature of Bhutan. With its breathtaking architecture, serene surroundings, and remarkable artifacts, the National Library of Bhutan is not just a repository of knowledge but a symbol of national pride. In this article, we will uncover 18 unbelievable facts about the National Library of Bhutan that will leave you awe-inspired.

Table of Contents

A Temple of Knowledge

The National Library of Bhutan, often referred to as the “Temple of Knowledge,” is a testament to Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage and commitment to preserving its literary treasures.

Nestled in the Heart of Thimphu

Situated in the capital city of Thimphu, the National Library of Bhutan is strategically located in close proximity to other important cultural landmarks, making it easily accessible to locals and tourists alike.

A Vast Collection of Texts

The library houses an astounding collection of over 30,000 volumes of literary works, manuscripts, and ancient Buddhist texts, making it a treasure trove for scholars, researchers, and book enthusiasts.

The Oldest Book in Bhutan

One of the most remarkable artifacts in the library is the “Choekey Sernya,” which is believed to be the oldest printed book in Bhutan, dating back to the 8th century.

A Haven for Buddhist Scriptures

The National Library of Bhutan is renowned for its extensive collection of Buddhist scriptures, including rare and priceless religious texts, which serve as a spiritual guide for the people of Bhutan.

Preservation of Bhutanese Heritage

The library plays a vital role in preserving and promoting Bhutan’s cultural heritage. It undertakes the meticulous task of restoring and conserving ancient manuscripts, ensuring their longevity for future generations.

Richly Decorated Interiors

The National Library of Bhutan is not only a sanctuary for books but also a visually stunning architectural masterpiece. Adorned with intricate Bhutanese motifs and vibrant paintings, the library’s interiors reflect the country’s vibrant artistic heritage.

A Gateway to Bhutanese Literature

As the custodian of Bhutanese literature, the library serves as a gateway to the country’s literary treasures. It offers insights into Bhutanese history, traditions, and spirituality through its vast collection of books and manuscripts.

The Legend of Guru Rinpoche

The library houses a rare biography of Guru Rinpoche, the legendary figure who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. This precious text provides valuable insights into the life and teachings of this revered spiritual master.

Trained Librarians

The National Library of Bhutan is staffed by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable librarians who are trained in various aspects of library management and preservation techniques.

A Digital Archive Initiative

In an effort to embrace modern technology while preserving tradition, the library has embarked on a digital archiving project, digitizing valuable manuscripts and making them accessible to a global audience.

A Center for Cultural Research

Researchers and scholars from around the world flock to the National Library of Bhutan to delve into its rich collection of materials, conducting studies and analysis on various aspects of Bhutanese culture.

Home to Rare Artifacts

Aside from books and manuscripts, the library also houses a remarkable collection of rare artifacts, including ancient paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that offer glimpses into Bhutan’s past.

Public Outreach Programs

Recognizing the importance of promoting literacy and a love for books, the library organizes various outreach programs, including storytelling sessions, book clubs, and workshops, to engage the local community.

The House of Thangkas

The library is renowned for its collection of thangka paintings, which are intricate religious artworks depicting Buddhist deities. These sacred paintings provide insights into Bhutan’s spiritual heritage.

A Research Hub

Scholars and researchers are provided with access to a well-equipped research room within the library premises, offering a conducive environment for in-depth study and analysis.

A Symbol of National Pride

The National Library of Bhutan stands as a symbol of pride for the nation, showcasing its commitment to education, intellectual growth, and the preservation of its unique cultural identity.

A Testament to Bhutan’s Vision

The establishment and continued development of the National Library of Bhutan exemplify the country’s vision of cultivating a society deeply rooted in knowledge, wisdom, and the appreciation of its rich literary heritage.


The National Library of Bhutan is a remarkable landmark that holds a wealth of knowledge and cultural heritage. From its stunning architecture to its extensive collection of ancient manuscripts, it offers a unique glimpse into Bhutan’s rich history and tradition. Whether you’re a book lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking to explore Bhutan’s cultural treasures, a visit to the National Library is an absolute must. With its serene surroundings and tranquil atmosphere, it provides the perfect setting for indulging in the world of literature and immersing yourself in Bhutan’s intellectual legacy.


1. What is the significance of the National Library of Bhutan?

The National Library of Bhutan is of great importance as it houses a vast collection of valuable manuscripts, books, and historical documents that showcase the rich cultural heritage and knowledge of Bhutan.

2. Can I access the collections in the National Library?

Yes, the collections in the National Library are accessible to researchers, scholars, and the general public. However, some rare and delicate items may have restricted access.

3. How old are the manuscripts in the National Library?

The National Library preserves manuscripts that are several centuries old, with some dating back to the 8th century. These manuscripts offer a glimpse into ancient Buddhist teachings, literature, and art.

4. Are there any rare books or artifacts in the National Library?

Absolutely! The National Library is home to rare books, scrolls, and artifacts that hold immense historical, cultural, and religious significance, making it a treasure trove for researchers and enthusiasts.

5. Can I take photographs inside the National Library?

Due to the fragility of the items, photography is generally not allowed inside the National Library. However, you can inquire at the library about any specific guidelines or exceptions.