Punakha is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and having the population of 25,700. It takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district.
Top Places to Visit in Punakha
Chorten or Stupa at Dochula was constructed in 2004 by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to commemorate the Bhutan's victory over Indian Terrorist. During the war lots of Armies and Terrorist lost their life, so to liberate their soul from suffering it was built.
DRUK WANGYAL LHAKHANG
Druk Wangyal Lhakhang stands on the crest of Dochula. Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck has achieved a Druk Wangyal Lhakhangfine blend of history and mythology in the construction of the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang to honor His majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The past and the future appear to merge in the details of Lhakhang that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.
The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss”) is the administrative centre of Punakha District, Bhutan. Constructed by Zhabdrung Punakha Dzong(Shabdrung) Ngawang Namgyal in 1637-38, it is the second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu School including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa. Punakha Dzong was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.
How to reach?
By Air : Paro International Airport (PBH/VQPR) is the only entry point to Bhutan by air. It is located in the south west of the country and served only by the country's flag carrier Druk Air.
By Road : There are frequent services Of Bus between Siliguri and Phuentsholing/Jaigaon. It is roughly a four hour journey. Then there are private buses and shared taxis from Phuentsholing to Thimphu.