Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan, and the surrounding valley is one of Bhutan's dzongkhags, the Thimphu District. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced as capital by Thimphu in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
The city extends in a north–south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Raidāk River, which is known as the Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. Thimphu is the fifth highest capital in the world by altitude and ranges in altitude from 2,248 metres to 2,648 metres. Unusually for a capital city, Thimphu does not have its own airport, relies on the Paro Airport connected by road some 52 kilometres away.
Thimphu, as the political and economic center of Bhutan, has a dominant agricultural and livestock base, which contributes 45% of the country's GNP. Tourism, though a contributor to the economy, is strictly regulated, maintaining a balance between the traditional, development and modernization.