Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Punakha Dzong, Bhutan


Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan and lies at an elevation of 1,220m. It takes approximately 2 1/4 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass (3116m). Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong.
Built in 1637, the Dzong is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. The Dzong was destroyed by fire and glacial floods over the years but has been carefully restored and is, today, a fine example of Bhutanese craftsmanship.
Punakha is a sub-tropical valley where food grains, vegetables and fruits grow in abundance.
A short drive up the valley is the Khamsum Yulley Chorten (stupa), constructed in 1992, as one of three such chortens in the world, one being the National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu.Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan and lies at an elevation of 1,220m. It takes approximately 2 1/4 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-la pass (3116m). Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha Dzong.