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Bhutan Tourism

Punakha

Punakha, Bhutan Travel VacationsThe road winds up from simtokha Dzong into pine forest and through small villages for 20 kilometers and then opens miraculously onto the northern ridge of the mountains. The view over the Himalayan panoply at Dorchula pass at 10,500 feet is one of the most spectacular in all Bhutan.

Punkha lies about two hours drive from Dorchula down low in its valley. Commanding a sparse population, punkha Dzong is home to the central monk body and the Je Khenpo during the milder winter months.

A temperate climate and natural drainage from the phochu(male) and Mochu (female) rivers, the fertile punakha valley produces abundant crops and fertile punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruit. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1995.

Punakha Dzong was strategically built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th Century by the first Shabdrung to serve as the religious and administrative center. In spit of four catastrophic fires and a devastating earthquake that destroyed many historic documents, punakha Dzong houses sacred tempes including the Marchen where the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in state.

The Dzong has been fully restored by the present king. In 1993 the largest thongdrel,a religious embroidery composed entirely of appliqué on silk brocade, that has ever been created was dedicated to the Dzong and the people of the punakha valley by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and Je Khenpo at a three-day consecration which brought together Bhutan’s highest nobility.


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