Punakha

This town is situated in the Himalayas of Bhutan. It's known for the Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress at the juncture of the Pho and Mo Chhu rivers. The fortress hosts the Punakha Tshechu, a religious festival featuring masked dances and music. In the surrounding Punakha Valley, temples include the fertility-focused Chimi Lhakhang and the hilltop Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which has river and mountain views.



Place of Interest / Things to do
Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong is the second largest dzong in Bhutan and is known for its brilliant structure. Among the popular tourist places in Bhutan, the dzong speaks volumes about the beautiful stories and traditions of Buddhist culture. Punakha Dzong, majestically standing on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, is one of the most photogenic of all of Bhutan's ancient fortresses, and you will see pictures of it hanging in hotels and restaurants throughout the country. The dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reined the kingdom from this valley. The dzong serves as the winter home of the monastic body.

Time taken: 1hr 11 mins


Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass is a beautiful pass consisting of 108 chortens or Sstupas built in the memory of the Bhutanese soldiers who died in a war against the insurgents from India. The beautifully built temple and stupas, with the picturesque Gangkar Puensum peak in the background, makes the Dochula Pass one of the best tourist places in Bhutan.

Time taken from Punakha: 3-4 hrs


Chimi Lhakhang

Situated on a small hill right in the centre of the valley, Chimi Lhakhang is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley. In the 15th century, he used songs and humour to impart his teachings, which got him the name ‘the Divine Madman’. For centuries, this place of worship has been considered ‘the temple of fertility’. It’s believed that couples who don’t have children are blessed with newborns after praying at this temple. Walk for about half-an-hour across the field to the temple road. On the trail, you’ll cross rice fields and a tiny stream downhill before the short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.

Time taken from Punakha: 58 mins


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