Places to visit in Punakha Valley

Punakha Valley Overview

Punakha is another popular valley for tourist. And its realtively warm compare to Thimphu and Paro. The fortress here is more beautiful whole over the country. And also its the winter capital for Manstic body, and had been the capital till 1952. There is not much development, so its just a valley.

Puanakha Fortress

Punakha Dzong Punakha Dzong also known as Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, was costurcted in 1637 by Zhabdrung Nagawang Namgyel, which in located in between the twin river, Male and Female. But the site had been already used in 14th century by one of the Tibetan saint, Nga Rinchen who have constructed a small temple there which can still be seen, and its named as Dzongchung( small fortress)
Its one of the most beautiful fortress as well as an very important one, as it houses the scard relic Rangjung Karsapani, which was brought by Zhanbdrung Ngawang Namgyel as when he left from Tibet. Rangjung Karsapani is the statue of Avelokitisvara, which was miraculiously appeard in the vertebra of Tshangpa Geray, the founder of Drukpa school in Tibet at the time of cremeation.
And also this fortress had served as the capital of Bhutan till 1952, untill it was shifted to Thimphu by third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and its still the winter capital of Monastic body. And its the place where most of the important ceremony and decisiions are taken place. And another thing is it also houses the one of the biggest painting(Thongdrol) of Bhutan measuring 20 x 22 meters. And its the painting of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and its unfurled during some important occasions such as festival. And also the body of Zhabdrung is still stored in one of the temple, Machen Lhakhang.

Chimi Lhakhang

Chimi Lhakhang Chimi Lhakhang, is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha District, located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the "Divine Madman" saint Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) who built a chorten on the site.
In founding the site it is said that Lama Kunley subdued a demon of Dochu La with his "magic thunderbolt of wisdom" and trapped it in a rock at the location close to where the chorten now stands. He was known as the "Mad Saint" or “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humour and outrageous behavior. He is also the saint who advocated the use of phallus symbols as paintings on walls and as flying carved wooden phalluses on house tops at four corners of the eves. It is also known as the temple of Fertility.

Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten

Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten This temple was built by the Queen Mother of the 5th King to bring universal peace in this world. The best of the spiritual art works are painted on the inner walls. There is no such temple in Bhutan except for one in Tibet. It is about a 30 minutes hike from the suspension bridge. And to reach this temple will pass from a beautiful village of Yebesa.
The inner side of the temple is more or less similar to the Jigme Dorji wangchuck National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. The ground floor contains the teaching os Phurba, the first floor the teaching of Kagye, and the 3rd floor houses the teaching of Lama Gondue. After 3rd floor we can still climb up from where will have the view whole round. Here we can see the statue of Buddha, and it was brought from the Mini Dzong of Punakha. And it is said is the wish fulfilling Buddha.

Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Nunnery

Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Nunnery Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Nunnery is perched on the hill top over looking Wangdue and Puankha Valley. It houses the statue of Avaloketishvara and also there is a big stupa infront of temple, which is very similar to that of the Nepal, Boudhanath Stupa. And also from here you will have a very good view of Punakha and Wangdue Valley.

River Rafting

River Rafting If you are advanture lover, its here you can try some River Rafting. There are 2 rivers where you can do the rafting. Its on Male and Female river both. But the current is higher with the male river then female, so only the experience ones are taken to male river and rest do on female river. Its takes about 1 hours 30 minutes to complete but also depend on the weather too. If windy takes more time. And the total distance is 11 km and it passes via a beautiful Puankha fortress.