Punakha Bhutan

Punakha Bhutan

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Punakha Bhutan

Punakha Bhutan has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country.

October 13, 2011 marked an unforgettable wedding of the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to Jetsun Pema which was held at Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong was built at the confluence of two major rivers in Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. It is an especially beautiful sight on sunny days with sunlight reflecting off the water onto its white-washed walls.

In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated.

Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 m above sea level. Owing to the favourable climatic conditions, rice has become the main cash crop cultivated in the region.

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Punakha Dzong

The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungthang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang, is the administrative centre of Punakha District in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1ˢᵗ Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second-largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. 

Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha Bridge is only about half a mile from Punakha Dzong, but it can easily be missed, as it’s not on the main road. To find it, head north from the dzong past the cremation grounds, following the Puna Tsang Chu River, either via rural roads on the west bank.

Punakha Suspension Bridge
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chöten — chörten in the Punakha district, Bhutan. This chöten was built in 2004 by HM the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, in Nyizergang — about a thirty-minute walk uphill from the footbridge in Yepaisa Village. It was built in accordance with the instructions of Lopon Sonam Zangpo, with the intention of bringing peace in the world.

Chimi Lhakhang

Chimi Lhakhang, also known as Chime Lhakhang or Monastery or temple, is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha District, Bhutan. Located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley who built a chorten on the site.

Chimi Lhakhang
Talo Monastery
Talo Monastery

Situated on a ridge above the Punakha Valley is a serene Buddhist Monastery called Talo Sangngak Choling or Talo Monastery. Talo Monastery is an essential Drukpa Kagyu monastery of Punakha. The source of the Drukpa Lineage stems from the Primordial Buddha Vajradhara, the All-Pervading Lord of the Hundred Buddha Families. Located at a distance of 16km from Khuruthang town, a small township close by Punakha Dzong, Talo Monastery was founded by Chogtrul Jigme Singye (the 4th reincarnation of Gyalse Tenzin Ragbye).

Wolakha Nunnery

The college is built with unique feature of structures skillfully carved with black marble blocks surrounding the stupa, depicting the 84 mahasiddhis, 16 arhats, and the great lamas of Drukpa Kagyu lineage. Initiated in 2008 by Yab Dasho Ugyen Dorji, the nunnery was completed in 2010, with more than 170 nuns.

Wolakha Nunnery
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