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  • PUNAKHA
    Punakha, The Former Capital City

    The road winds a from Simtokha Dzong into pine forest and through small villages for 20 kms and then opens miraculously on to the Northern Ridges of the mountains. The view over the Himalayan panoply at Dorchula Pass at 10,500 ft is one the most spectacular in all Bhutan. Punakha lies about 2 hours drive from Dorchula...

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  • PARO
    Paro, The Only Airstrip

    All visitors are required to enter the Kingdom at Paro by the national airline, Druk-Air. It may be more convenient for some visitors to leave the kingdom via the southern outlets of Samdrup Jongkhar or Phuentsholing in the west. Twenty-five years ago all visitors would have had to walk five days across the mountains to reach...

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  • THIMPHU
    Thimphu, The Capital City

    Thimpu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, Capital city in the world, is a bustling town on the banks of its own river and set gloriously in the hills of its own valley. A regal town, Thimpu is home to the revered Bhutanese Royal family and to several Foreign mission and development projects. On the bank...

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Punakha, The Former Capital City

The road winds a from Simtokha Dzong into pine forest and through small villages for 20 kms and then opens miraculously on to the Northern Ridges of the mountains. The view over the Himalayan panoply at Dorchula Pass at 10,500 ft is one the most spectacular in all Bhutan.

Punakha lies about 2 hours drive from Dorchula down low in its valley. Commanding a sparse population, Punakha Dzong is home to the central monk body and the Je Khenpo during the milder winter months.

A temperate climate and natural drainage from the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers, the fertile Punakha Valley produces abandoned crops and fruits. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955.

Punakha Dzong was strategically built at the junction of the two rivers in the 17th century by the first Shabdrung to serve as the religious and the administrative center. In spite of four catastrophic fires and a devastating earthquake that destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong houses sacred temples including the Mercheng where the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in the state.

The Dzong has been fully restored by the present king. In 1993 the largest Thongdrel, a religious embroidery compose entirely of appliqué on silk brocade. That has ever been created was  dedicated to the Dzong and the people of the Punakha valley by his majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and the Je khenpo at a three day consecration which brought to the Bhutan’s nobility.