Punakha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 before being moved onto Thimpu, as it remains to this day. However, Punakha still feels like a capital city, and, with stunning views of the snowy Himalayas, it is impressive town to visit.
Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. Owing to the favourable climatic conditions, rice grows very well in this region and is the main cash crop cultivated here.

One of the highlights of Punakha is the Dzong - without a doubt the most impressive in the country. The Punakha Dzong contains 21 temples straddling the Mo and Pho Rivers, each showcasing stunning Bhutanese art and Thangka’s.
In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifer 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.

The Chimi Lhakang or Temple of the Divine Madman, a favourite Saint of the area, is an interesting temple to visit. The stroll through the Bhutanese countryside is a magical way to get to this unique temple.

The area around Punakha is also great for adventure sports like river rafting and mountain biking.

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Some of our Favourite Bhutan Lodges

Some of our favourite areas of Bhutan



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