Blessed with temperate climate and fed by Pho-chu (male river) and Mo-chu (female river), Punakha is the most fertile valley in the country. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital and is even to-day the winter seat of Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and central Monk Body.
(On the way from Thimphu to Punakha)
On the way from Thimphu to Punakha, you will pass through a Pass which is known as Dochula Pass. The altitude of this pass is 3050mts above sea level. From the Dochula pass we can have a beautiful Panoramic views of the Mountain Range. In a very clear winter days, you can see the Mountains very clearly.
In the early times Dochula used to be the wet land where we can find different species of Birds. And now it’s a very beautiful pass with around 108 stupas built by the Eldest Queen Mother Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. Now it’s known as a Druk Wangyal Lhakhang at Dochula.
The dzong was built at the confluence of male and female river in 1638 by Shabdrung. After the slight destruction of fire in 1984 and major by flood in 1994 the present dzong was renovated from 1994 – 2003 . Punakha valley is flourished with rich vegetation and the dzong is extra ordinarily renovated with detailed arts and crafts.
High up in the snowy peaks overlooking the valley of Punakha, Talo Goenpa monastery sits majestically on a mountain ridge. For centuries, this ancient spiritual center has stood guard over the valley below. The monastery was founded in 1767, a Fire Pig Year according to the Bhutanese calendar.
Khe-mi Lhakhang : Chimi Lhakhang was built by the divine mad Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15 th century. The legend says that the lama subdue the evil spirit who appeared half human half dog. Khe means dog and Mi is human. The temple is short hike from the motor road through the paddy fields and villages.