A Day Trip to Punakha

Photo of A Day Trip to Punakha by its_ Jintyr
Day 1

Bhutan has always been one of my favourite travel destinations. I have been to this beautiful land of happiness twice and still I have so much to explore. This trip is my second visit and this time I am exploring the western region of the country. My destination was the old capital of Bhutan, "Punakha". It is considered as one of the most picturesque part (district) of the country, filled with lush fields of different harvesting crops, crystal clear rivers with wild flow and majestic "Punakha Dzong". Therefore, let me take you through my journey of exploring this land of natural beauty in a day.


Photo of Bhutan by its_ Jintyr

Punakha At a Glimpse:

Punakha also known as Punakha Dzongkhang has been a witness to many historical moments of the country. It was the former capital and seat of the administration from 17 th century to1955. This district is the third most visited places in Bhutan till date.

# How to reach:
The district is situated at the western region of the country, approximately three hours away from the capital city of Thimphu. Both taxi and buses are available for the transportation. It is quite convenient and safe for the travellers.

# Things to do:
Punakha has many sites to visit, however, I would mention only a few that I was able to cover in a day trip.

Outside view of the Punakha Dzong

Photo of Punakha Dzong by its_ Jintyr

The inside architecture of the Punakha Dzong

Photo of Punakha Dzong by its_ Jintyr

The Bhutanese Architecture inside Punakha Dzong

Photo of Punakha Dzong by its_ Jintyr

The famous wodden bridge that connects the land and the Dzong.

Photo of Punakha Dzong by its_ Jintyr

The Punakha Dzong or fortress was built in the year 1637 by Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche. It is the second oldest and largest fortress of Bhutan. The Dzong has witnessed many historical events of the country, such as, holding the first national assembly in 1953, hosting the wedding ceremony of the King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck to Jetsun Pema in 2011. The fortress also notable for containing the mortal remains of the very first Rinpoche and the unifier of Bhutan, Ngawang Namgyal.

However, the historical importance is not the only thing that makes Punakha Dzong an attraction to visit. The aesthetic appeal of this majestic structure is breathtaking. Build in the confluence of two hill rivers the Dzong has a beautiful aura making it one of the most picturesque Dzong of the country.

Punakha suspension bridge

Photo of Punakha Suspension Bridge by its_ Jintyr

This bridge is one of the longest suspension bridge of Bhutan, built over the beautiful river Po chhu. It connects Punakha twin with the Punakha Dzong. It is 160 to 180 meters long  approximately. The bridge gives an amazing view of the valley and a thrilling experience while crossing it. It is definitely a worth visit while traveling to Punakha.

# White Water Rafting:
Punakha is know for it's river rafting adventures. People come from all around the world to enjoy White water rafting here in Punakha. The conference of the two beautiful rivers "Po-Chhu and Mo- Chhu" makes it an extremely favourable site for the sport. With a outstay view and wild flow the rafters can have an Amy experience.

Capturing image of the Dzong from a tinny window of a house

Photo of A Day Trip to Punakha by its_ Jintyr

For me it was a quick trip and I didn't want to miss the chance to explore whatever I can.  There are many other sites in Punakha that one can explore. For example, the famous "Fertility temple" that might be of interest for the travellers as well. Hiking  and camping is another activity that locals arrange for the tourists.
For those who plan a day trip can cover all the sites I have mentioned above and staying a day more will give them the opportunity to explore the later mentioned places and activities.
The whole country is naturally blessed and has a peaceful aura but Punakha has a regal vibe that makes every visitor fall in love with this place.

#Tip for the Travellers
1. Punakha has many things to offer, so a day trip can be a little hectic. Staying in for a night or two allows the tourist to explore better.

2. Punakha Dzong has some really amazing photo points, ask your tour guide to help you out with this.

3. River rafting is an one in a lifetime experience. A must do

4. A visit to " fertility temple" is a unique experience not to be missed. (I still regret not visiting)

My overall experience in exploring Punakha in a day was great, although about hectic but it was worth in every way. Looking forward to explore something new next time. Till then keep traveling and keep reading.


P.S. for more such trips and stories please check out my blog