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Punakha Dzong Bhutan – Detailed Tour and Travel Guide

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang, is the most opulent and significant dzong in Punakha Valley. Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang translates as “Palace of Great Bliss” in the local tongue. On the fringes of Punakha Valley’s major town, Punakha Dzong is located along the banks of the Mo Chuu and Po Chuu rivers. Punakha Dzong, which was constructed in 1637–1638, is also Bhutan’s second-oldest and second-largest Dzong. Punakha Dzong, with its opulent edifice overlooking the picturesque gorge, has long been considered a must-see location in Punakha Valley.

Interesting Fact about Punakha Dzong

The hill atop which the Punakha Dzong is built resembles the trunk of an elephant and all the Kings of Bhutan were coroneted in Punakha Dzong. It is included in UNESCO’s tentative list and was built without the use of nails. You can take photographs of the entire monastery except for the prayer halls. The Pho Chu river floods in the year 1996 damaged the large stupa and the entire Dzong.

The Dzong hosts the yearly Domche festival, which is heavily attended by residents of the district’s remote villages. During the event, the Zhabdrung’s self-created Avalokitesvara statue, which is housed in the dzong’s utse and was imported from Tibet, is on exhibit. A five-day festival sometimes referred to as the Punakha festival, which takes place in February and March, recreates the Tibetan invasion of Bhutan in 1639 and the Tibetans’ subsequent defeat.

History of Punakha Dzong

The first Zabdrung Rimpoche, Ngawang Namgyal, founded the Punakha Dzong. The Bhutanese Legend claims that Guru Padma Sambhaba foresaw the incident when a person by the name of Namgyal will show up at a hill that resembles an elephant. Punakha Dzong has suffered fire damage seven times, earthquake damage once, and water damage once since it was built.

Over the past 3 centuries, Punakha Dzong has been renovated by many people. The eye-catching golden dome of central utse (the dzong’s central tower or the main tower) of Punakha Dzong was added in 1676 by a local ruler called Gyaltsen Tenzin Rabgye. Likewise, many revered saints and rulers had added sacred relics and frameworks in Punakha Dzong, contributing to the current grandiose structure.

Things to See In Punakha Dzong

  • Sacred artifacts from the Rangjung Kasarpani and other lines of the southern Drukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the Terton Pema Lingpa
  • Memorial Chapel of Punakha Dzong housing the confiscated artillery from the defected Tibetan Army
  • The six-storey high central utse of Punakha Dzong houses the Theranghung, a self-created image of Avalokitesvara
  • Sacred Throdol of Punakha Dzong which is only displayed once a year.
  • Thangka depicts the portray of Zabdrung in Punakha Dzong
  • Handcrafted religious masks used during the annual tsechu

Do’s and Dont’s Punakha Dzong

  • Visitors need to wear full-length clothes while visiting Punakha Dzong as it is a sacred religious site.
  • Making loud noises is not acceptable inside the Dzong.
  • Don’t take photographs as well as selfies in the prayer hall as it is restricted.
  • Don’t interrupt the rituals of the Dzong.

Punakha Dzong Timings

Due to the fact that Punakha Dzong has two different opening hours for the summer and winter seasons, travelers should take note of these hours. Punakha Dzong operates at the following times: Travelers can visit Punakha Dzong any time between 9 am and 5 pm from June to Mid-November. Travelers can visit Punakha Dzong at any time between 11 am and 1 pm and 3 pm and 5 pm from mid-November to mid-May.

How to Reach Punakha Dzong

The most convenient way to reach Punakha Dzong is by walking from the main town of Punakha. The view of purple jacaranda flowers dotting the route leading to grandiose Punakha Dzong and crossing the quaint wooden bridge to reach Punakha Dzong has enthralled the minds of many travelers. From the main town, it takes an approx 30mins walk to reach Punakha Dzong. The distance between Punakha to Punakha Dzong is 3 km. To visit Punakha Dzong Bhutan Holidays offers tailor-made package tours to stay at Punakha at an affordable price.

Hotels in Punakha

There are various hotels and resorts available in Punakha from budget to deluxe levels. Bhutan Holidays is happy to offer Hotel booking assistance to tourists, travelers and visitors. Moreover, all our packages include accommodation in them. Don’t hesitate to contact us now.

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