Punakha, Bhutan’s long-lost historic capital, is located at the confluence of the country’s two main rivers, the Pho (father) Chhu and the Mo (mother) Chhu. The city is around 70 kilometres from Thimphu, the current capital. Punakha is a warm location, surrounded by hills on all sides, with an average yearly temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
Punakha, which is just 1200 metres above sea level, resembles the meadows of paradise, with paddy fields that produce two rice crops each year. Punakha sightseeing offers a variety of attractions for visitors.
1. Punakha Dzong
The Punakha Dzong was constructed in 1637 and has since served as a symbol of a united Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong is Bhutan’s largest Dzong and one of Punakha’s most royal attractions. You can visit this place with no entrance fees. You can visit this place between 9 AM to 4 PM.
This is a tiny Bhutanese village, one of the unexpected Punakha tourist attractions, located just minutes from Punakha city and famous for its unique rice-growing techniques and lovely architecture. Tours of the vineyard are famous here during the monsoon harvest seasons.
Visitors have been drawn to the village’s monastery because of its stunning architecture and centuries-old religious practices that are still practised today. It is one of Punakha’s most lovely locations to visit.
3. Mo Chhu:
The Mother, or Mo Chhu, is an immensely important river in the Himalayan nation’s conscience. The river flows through the Mo Chhu valley before entering the Devil’s Gorge, a famous spot for adrenaline seekers who want to go river rafting or kayaking. The river, however, is one of the greatest locations to visit in Punakha.
4. Chimi Lhakhang:
This magnificent Buddhist monastery was constructed by Drukpa ruler Ngawang Choegyel in the 14th century and is one of the most significant places to visit in Punakha. According to mythology, Drukpa Kunley, a Buddhist monk, fought a demon here and imprisoned it inside a rock. Do not be surprised to find phallus symbols strewn around the temple’s interior and on its walls.
5. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten:
The Queen Mother commissioned this Buddhist temple, which was finished in 2004. The Khamsum Yulley Chorten, one of Punakha’s most well-known tourist sites, was erected to fend off bad spirits and promote harmony and global peace. The temple complex also serves as an excellent example of the country’s architectural history.
6. Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang:
It is another key stop on the holy Punakha travel circuit. The 14-foot statue of Avalokiteshvara is the main feature of the two-story temple and nunnery. The temple is known for the black marble blocks that surround the main stupa portraying the 84 Mahasiddhis that are essential to Bhutan Buddhism. It overlooks the beautiful valleys of Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Toebesa.