India, 
Sri Lanka,
 Nepal & Bhutan / Punakha
Bhutan
Punakha
India, 
Sri Lanka,
 Nepal & Bhutan / Bhutan's Monarch
Bhutan
Bhutan's Monarch
India, 
Sri Lanka,
 Nepal & Bhutan / Local Child
Bhutan
Local Child

Punakha

Punakha is one of the lowest lying valleys in the Kingdom. With its temperate climate, this valley is the market garden of the country, where produce grows year round and many Bhutanese reside during the colder winter months. One of the highlights of Punakha, Bhutan's winter capital for 300 years until Thimphu became the official capital in the 1950s, is visiting the Punakha Dzong, which straddles the confluence of the Mother (Mo) and Father (Pho) rivers like an ancient ship stranded by the tide. Twenty-one temples are contained within the area of the dzong's third courtyard, the largest of which is the monk's hundred-pillared Great Assembly Hall. Beyond the pre-eminence of the dzong, the Chimi Lhakhang built late in the 15th century is a must see to take in the history of this auspicious worship house and its ritual phalluses.

Closer to the lodge, a beautiful morning hike takes one to the regal Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten which dominates the upper Punakha Valley with views across the Mo Chhu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.

Antipodes recommends

Amankora Punakha

 

Punakha
Punakha
Punakha
Punakha