Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Email

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Until 1955 Punakha was once the capital city of Bhutan. It is one of the most beautiful districts in Bhutan with lush meadows, expansive terraces of paddy fields and two beautiful rivers: Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu. Blessed with a temperate climate, Punakha Dzong also serves as the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (the chief abbot). 

Popular attraction sites in Punakha
Punakha Dzong

The magnificent Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 under the reign of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, which is located at the banks of the confluence of Mo Chhu River and Pho Chhu. The dzong has a massive historical significance where many major events of Bhutan took place, including the coronation of the first king and the royal wedding ceremony of the fifth king of Bhutan. 

The dzong houses the sacred relics Rangjung Kasarpani, the remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and the Terton Pema Lingpa. The incredible dzong is at its best during the spring season when jacaranda trees bloom majestically in the courtyard. 

Chimi Lhakhang

The sacred temple Chimi Lhakhang, known as the Fertility Temple is located in Sopsokha village standing on a round hillock. The temple is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenly, a 15th-century saint from Tibet. He was known as the “Divine Madman” because of his unconventional ways of teaching Buddhism. 

Prior to visiting Chimi Lhakhang, you'll start your journey from the shophouses at Sopsokha Village. In the village, you can find many murals and crafts of the bizarre phallus symbols. The phallus images and wood crafts come in all shapes, colours and sizes.

From the village, you'll walk through a beautiful paddy and mustard field for around 20 minutes to reach the entrance of Chimi Lhakang. 

The interesting folklores associated with the temple is that Lam Drukpa 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. And that is the story of how the symbol of the phallus became divine and protective in Bhutan. 

Many childless couples or couples with newborns from all over the world visit the temple to seek blessings from Drukpa Kuenley. There are also many interesting modern miracles testimonies from parents who managed to conceive after visiting Chimi Lhakhang. 

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Temple

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in Punakha was built in the year 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Tshering Yangdon to safeguard Bhutan from the evil forces and to bring peace and harmony to all living beings. The temple has three storeys; the first floor houses the statue of a powerful and wrathful deity, Vajrakilaya and on the third floor is the golden statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in his classic pose. 

It takes an hour to hike up to the temple crossing through an adventurous suspension bridge. The journey provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Punakha valley, paddy fields and shimmering river from the top of the temple. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is one of the finest examples of Bhutanese tradition and architecture. 

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery was built as a Buddhist college for nuns in 2008 and consecrated in 2010. The nunnery is perched high up on top of a hill overlooking three valleys of Toebesa, Punakha and Wangdue. The place is lovely, tranquil, clean and has a beautiful garden with colourful prayer flags.

Aside from visiting stunning sacred sites, you can also opt for some fun activities in Punakha such as whitewater rafting or attending the popular Punakha Tshechu.

Rafting in Punakha

Rafting in Punakha valley is the most popular soft adventure in Bhutan which is safe, fun and exciting. It is a blissful experience with an elegant and scenic view of Punakha valley. You can find exotic birds on the riverside as you are rafting through the rivers. 

There are two rivers in Punakha for rafting: Pho Chhu (male river) and Mo Chhu (female river). The Pho Chhu covers a length of approximately 15 km followed by the Mo Chhu river with a 10 km courseRafting experiences vary by season. In summer, river tides are high, currents fast, and the water looks muddy because of rain and during winter, river water is shallow, crystal-clear, and the flow is slow and calm.  

Punakha Tshechu

Punakha Tshechu takes place in February or March inside the incredible Punakha Dzong and it is one of the most popular religious festivals in Bhutan. It is held right after the popular Punakha Drubchen. The unfurling of the thongdrol (display of giant thangka) of Guru Rinpoche is the main attraction of the festival. It is believed that a mere sight of the thongdrol liberates and cleanse the sins. The tshechu is one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan and socialise with locals.

 

For more attractions in Bhutan, order your copy of Bhutan Travelog

Purchase a Book, Support a Cause

If you'll like to support a charity cause in Bhutan, you can purchase your copy of the travel guidebook through the Bhutan Travelog website. Simple click on the link of the charity cause that resonates with you. SGD10 of the proceeds will go toward the charity of your choice.



Related Posts

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Travel to Bhutan: experience the charm of Paro district

Paro district receives the highest volume of travellers annually. It's also easily one of tourists favourite places in...

Jul 14, 2021 11:20

Travel to Bhutan: attractions in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu

Western Bhutan is the perfect region to learn more about the beautiful kingdom for those who are visiting Bhutan for the...

Jun 29, 2021 12:58

Bhutan is the perfect destination for luxury travel

The definition of 'luxury travel' has changed because of COVID-19.

Jun 01, 2021 18:32

8 most popular festivals in Bhutan that you should check out

Bhutanese festivals are colourfully vibrant affairs that draw crowds from all over the world.

May 14, 2021 17:15

Bhutan's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries

Bhutan is a green country with a rich environment, magnificent mountains, beautiful landscapes, and rich wildlife and...

May 05, 2021 12:16

Latest

News

Bhutan is tapping into solar energy with its first grid-tied solar power plant

Electricity in Bhutan is mostly generated from hydropower, a renewable energy source, unlike fossil-fuel driven power plants that are major...

Oct 05, 2021 16:17

Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck donated much needed medical equipment to the hospitals in Bhutan

Access to quality healthcare services is of utmost importance to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 30, 2021 13:50

Features

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world

There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this...

Sep 24, 2021 16:10

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Paro FC reclaimed its champion title for BoB Bhutan Premier League 2021

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) Bhutan Premier League 2021, previously known as Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top football tournament in Bhutan...

Oct 02, 2021 19:57

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

What are the personalities of the 12 zodiac signs?

For Bhutanese, rituals and auspicious timing are part of daily life. When we want to achieve a certain goal, conducting the event at a...

Oct 14, 2021 11:18

What are the zhey dances in Bhutan?

There are a fixed number of steps in each dance, and each step has its own significance.

Oct 08, 2021 13:09

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!