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Punakha Travel Guide

Punakha is noted as the ancient capital of Bhutan from the time period of 1637 to 1955. This highly immaculate city is an embracing settlement at the linking point of Mo Chhu and Po Chhu River. The rice bowl of Bhutan- Punakha is considered to be one of the best producers of red as well as the white rice grown here twice a year. Entangle in the exquisite aura and a positive essence of Punakha that is facilitated with the most pleasant weather conditions making it a perfect place to be explored at any time of the year. Acting as a sheath to the monk’s body during the winters, Punakha is holding a prominent place in the Bhutanese History too. The city is an aesthetic hub of the finely established monasteries, architectural stupas, exotic wilderness, majestic hot springs, bridges as well as the pristine river water lakes.

Punakha Map


Top Sites

Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha Suspension Bridge, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chhoe Dzong, Drukgyal Dzong

April to June

20°C to 23°C

July to Sep

16°C to 18°C

Oct to Feb

08°C to 10°C

An Insight into Bhutan Tourism

Bhutan's Land of Red Rice

Punakha, the erstwhile capital of Bhutan retains its serenity in essence of a regal past. The dzong is the prime attraction of this pleasant little town, perched at an elevation of 1,200 meters. Settled on the converge land of Phu chu and Mo chu, the two main rivers of Bhutan, Punakha is the largest Red Rice Producing zone. Owing to ambient environment, altitude and the fertility of soil, red rice is cultivated here extensively. However, this quaint town is more known amongst tourist for its beautiful monastery Punakha Dzong. There are a handful of other places of tourist interest nearby, which amuse travelers equally.

Punakha Dzong is the prime attraction here. Royally perched on an island in between the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, the dzong is a real treat for photographers and is indeed the most photogenic monument of all in Bhutan. It is also the most popular picture seen accentuating the walls of hotels, restaurants and other public places throughout the country. A beautiful yet rustic arched wooden bridge that connects the dzong to the mainland enhances the beauty of this place.

The dzong / monastery contains numerous precious relics from the bygone era when kings ruled the kingdom from here. Punakha Dzong, is one of the oldest and the largest monastery in Bhutan is particularly built at this confluence. This magnificent structure was also the venue of the wedding of King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel.

Other places nearby Punakha, which keep the tourist busy include Guru Rinpoche Caves (Geon Tsephu); Hot springs (tsachu); Koma Tsachu; Chimi Lhakhang Village and more. Tour through Punakha and the nearby places takes travelers through a beautiful journey. Lined by multi colored prayer flags, the places are serene and soul quenching. Punakha is also a sought after destination for adventure lovers. Some of Bhutan’s best river rafting and mountain biking is available here. Once can find several trekking trails nearby Gasa Dzong.

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