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PUNAKHA - THE PICTURE POSTCARD VALLEY TOWN IN BHUTAN

Punakha, the administrative center of Punakha dzongkhag is an important district of Bhutan. Situated at a distance of 72 kilometers from national capital Thimphu, Punakha4Punakha is a picturesque region spread over the valleys of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. It takes only a 3-hour car ride to reach Punakha from Thimphu and you as a worshipper of Mother Nature would simply love the journey through picturesque serpentine roads with the valley on one side and the mountain wall on the other.

punakha



At the middle of the journey, your car will reach Dochu La Pass, one of the most romantic sites in Bhutan. Dochu-La is famous as a viewpoint and while looking downwards from there you will feel like standing above the clouds. Dochu La is the site from where you can get the first glimpse of the Eastern Himalaya. Dochu La is located at an altitude of 3100 meters and from there your car will start going downwards towards the lowland of Punakha. Situated at an altitude of 1200 meters, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan before shifting the base permanently to Thimphu. dochulaPunakha is warmer than other regions of Bhutan and is hence an ideal spot for winter vacation. Thousands of tourists from the close neighboring countries make trips to Punakha every year and enjoy their time experiencing its enthralling scenic beauty and historic sites.

punakha



The first thing that will delight you in Punakha are the two rivers that have passed by the town. The green valleys lying behind the town forms a perfect backdrop for Nature lovers and shutterbugs. You may well opt for a guided tour to the town but to excite the explorer inside you, a gentle stroll through the bank of the river would be great.


Punthang Dewachen Gi Phodrang : If you opt for a guided tour to Punakha, the site that you must visit first is the Punthang Dewachen Gi Phodrang or the Punakha Dzong. It is the Palace of Great Happiness, created by Tuebi Zaow Bali during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is one of the most important historic sites in the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan. The Buddhist Dzong that stands on the river bank offers a stunning view of its scenic surroundings. Punakha to However, that is not the only attraction of the Dzong. Today Punthang Dewachen Gi Phodrang serves as the winter residence of Bhutan's Central Monastic Body and inside the building, you will get to see sacred relics of Rangjung Kasarpani, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa. Punakha Dzong is also the witness of the coronation of the first Bhutanese King Ugyen Wangchuk. It is also the place where a treaty was signed by the British, agreeing to stop interfering in Bhutan's internal affairs. Another thing that will attract you at Punakha Dzong is a traditional wooden cantilever river that connects the Dzong with the other side of the Mo Chhu river.

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Chimi Lhakhang : Situated at the top of a hillock in the heart of Punakha valley, the Chimi Lhakhang is a site dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Known as the 'Divine Madman', Lama Drukpa Kuenley is said to made use of songs, and his outrageous behavior to preach his teachings. Chimi Lhakhang is actually a temple and is believed to be the temple of fertility. Chimi-LhakhangBhutanese holds a strong belief that Couples who do not have children get blessed by Lama Drukpa Kuenley if they visit the temple and pray for a child. A picturesque rural trail through a paddy field takes visitors to the temple from the road. After crossing the paddy field you will find a tiny stream from where Chimi Lhakhang is a just a short climb away.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten : At the end of a small hike on the upper part of Punakha Valley stands the Khamsum Yuelley Namgel Chorten, which was built with the aim of removing evil forces from the world and promoting peace, harmony, and stability. Being situated at a high altitude, the site offers a fantastic bird's eye view of the valley, the serpentine Mo Chhu river and the peaks of Gasa.

Punakha Ritsha Village : The soil of Punakha valley, is heavily blessed by the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. The high fertility of the soil makes Punakha the biggest rice-growing region in Bhutan. Both white and red rice grow in Punakha, especially at the Ritsha village. Situated at the foot of a hill, Ritsha is a typical village that beautifully showcases the rural image of Bhutan. You will get to see houses made of mud standing on foundations of stone. All the houses in this Bhutanese village are two-storied and you will find gardens and rice fields within the compound of every house. Papaya and oranges are common plants in every garden.




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Jessica Santilli

Norway

I just returned from a 10N 11D trip to Bhutan with NatureWings and had an amazing experience. It was a last minute trip, booked less than a month before I arrived in Bhutan. Thankfully, Sabitra responded to emails promptly and was able to organize the trip quickly, including the 3 day trek I requested.

Sarah Parker

Chelmsford, UK

We went on to Bhutan Tour with my family and was organized by NATUREWINGS. We have enjoyed our holidays very much and everthing was well organized by the team. During the tour Ms Sabitra guided us very well and there was good co-operation and guidance from the driver. The hotels were Also good with good food. Naturewings won our heart..

Helen Morgan

Qu├ębec City, Canada

Hi Lima & Sabitra, We are very much thankful to you for planning entire trip with so proper itinerary, without any hectic schedule. We were able to enjoy all beautiful places, clicking lots of photographs without any worries about reaching to next destination. Hotels were good. Food was great. Especially, we enjoyed ourselves much at Mrs. Sonam's house. She was a gem, very warm and kind hearted lady and great cook. We enjoyed food at her place more than any other since it was home made with love and care. Special thanks to her and Mr Sonam too. Mr. Parmesh, our driver was very helpful too and entertained us lot. He was our part-time guide too. Once again, I thank you for responding all my queries so patiently and for completing our trip with success and lots of good memories in Bhutan. I will blindly recommend NatureWings to anyone who is looking for Bhutan Trip in future.

Dr. Joshua T White

Tampa Bay, FLorida

I booked my Bhutan package with NatureWings for me & my friend. we two stag traveled with nice car & good young driver. It was really enjoyable. I want to say that they r best in Bhutan sector. Thanks to NatureWings for memorable & beautiful stay in Bhutan. Bhutan is very beautiful & peaceful country with very beautiful people as well. You have to definitely try with this sector. If I go again to Bhutan then only I will book with NatureWings.

Peter M Black

Birmingham, UK

Had a memorable Bhutan Vacation (Feb 2020) with NatureWings. Special thanks to Mr. Namgey & Ms. Sabitra for planning the trip. We were 9 adults accompanied by two infants. We were given a comfortable 16 seater coaster. The driver and tour guide were very well informed and friendly. We had a pleasant stay (2N) at Osel, Thimpu. Punakha was splendid with Zhinkham Resorts (1N). In Paro, due to lack of availability we were given two rooms in Tashinamgay and Taktsang (3N). While Tashinamgay was good, I would not recommend Taktsang Boutique Resort at all. Overall we had a great experience in the beautiful country of Bhutan ... Tashi Delek!