Punakha districts the most historically important and beautiful region in the country.It served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the first National Assembly was held here. It is between 1300m and 3000 m altitude. The popular Punakaha dzong stands as the symbol of a unified Bhutan. It is popular for the tourists to visit Punakha Domche and relish the revelry of medieval warriors and also the coming of textiles to life.
Punakha Dzong – Heritage of Bhutan (Fortresses):
The Punakha Dsong-Heritage of Bhutan (Fortresses) was built strategically on the confluence of the Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). It was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the dzong enrich your trip with the opportunity to see the highest standards in woodwork. Do not miss the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzong chung at the entrance to the dzong and the cantilever bridge over the Mo chu that has been recently renovated.
Khamsum Yuley Temple:
The temple was built to bring universal peace in this world.It was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King and no temple in Bhutan is built elaborately as this. The most fascinating part of the temple is the best spiritual art works on the inner walls. There are also paintings of Buddhist teachers and tutelary deities of the country. This is a great temple to study the symbolic meanings from frescoes and sculptures.
Chhimi Lhakhang-Temple of fertility:
Chhimi Lhakhang-Temple of fertility, Drukpa Kinley, the divine madman is a famous teacher with whom the phallic symbol is associated. If you have heard or read the ancient tales of the divine mad man you may be excited to visit Chhimi Lhakhang. The Divine Madman is long gone but his statue remains today in the lhakhang. Do not miss the painted pictures on the walls that depict the deeds of the divine master. Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Ask yourself, do I need this Fertility Tour?
If you wish to have a picnic lunch, a day excursion to Talo would be great. The festival happens in spring and will capture any visitor’s attention. Let your tour take you there in summer during corn harvest. It’s an adventure to enjoy corn harvest with the farmers and also an opportunity to look for Himalayan bear. A walk through Talo and down to the other village of Nobgang will be a great day’s itinerary.
Nalanda Buddhist College:
Locals call this place Dalayna and the monks call it Nalanda Buddhist College. If you want to chat up with monks in English then this is the place to go. The monks here are dying to practise the new language they learn. Drive there in the afternoon and enjoy your evening tea supplemented by the ravishing view in front of you.
Chorten Nigpo walks:
The walk to Chorten Ningpo passes through several villages. Many visitors love this walk in summer and in autumn. In summer the rice fields are lush and gardens are filled with multitudes of vegetables and fruits. Likewise autumn enchants visitors with the golden hue of ripening rice. For adventure loving hard core walkers we recommend a detour to Hokotso, a lowland lake that holds many legends. This is recommended in autumn though.