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3.7 / 5 28 votes

Country rank: 3 out of 14 Places To Visit In Bhutan

Sub-Region: Punakha District


Ideal duration: 1 day

Best time: March - May (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Paro (Check Flights)


"Punakha-The land of red rice"

Punakha Tourism

Punakha is one of the 20 districts located in Bhutan. This place was the previous capital of Bhutan up until 1955 after which the capital was changed to Thimpu. This place is in a close proximity to Thimpu and one can easily reach here by means of car. This place is usually warmer in winter and colder in summer. Located at the height of 1200 m this place is known for its extensive rice cultivation.

Punakha was the capital of Bhutan from the year 1637 to 1907. This place which lies close to Thimpu is located at an alleviation of 1200m. Due to the suitable weather conditions present over here, this place has been known for its extensive rice cultivation. This place is known to be the second oldest dzong in the whole of Bhutan and is also known as one of the most magnificent structures in the country. One can get clear as well as amazing view of the Himalayas from this location. Two major rivers of Bhutan namely Pho Chu and Mo Chhu converge here in the Punakha valley. This place is mainly known due to two reasons, one being the presence of the second oldest dzong while the other one being the venue for the first national assembly in the year 1953. This place has been beautifully designed and one can easily spot the architectural brilliance showcased in the construction of dzong.

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Punakha was the capital of Bhutan before Thimpu took it place. It is still the sitting place of the Chief abbot. Punakha was made the capital of Bhutan in late 1960's and was the venue of the first national assembly held during that time. It is known to contain a structural brilliance along with a serene atmosphere.

Being mostly a hill station people prefer doing activities such as hiking and trekking. There isn't much of a nightlife, although you along with your group can enjoy events such as bonfire and party around. However, in Punakha there are numerous small bars as well as restaurants which serve some alcohol and snacks which you can enjoy along with pleasant weather outside.

Punakha is mainly a hill station and here you won't find a large scale market. However, you would definitely find markets and stores which would be selling handicrafts as well as some other common items belonging to the Bhutanese culture.

The primary currency utilised in Bhutan is Bhutanese Ngultrum. This currency is utilised all over the Bhutan including the areas such as Thimpu and Paro.

You can get your currency converted into the local Bhutanese currency easily at the Airport. Also, we would advice you to carry cash all the time as there are sometimes when ATM wonêt work or you wouldnêt be able to find one in some parts.

On an average you would be spending BTN 350 per day, which includes meals as well as basic travelling. However, in case you are shopping and travelling to nearby places, this cost would rise up to BTN 700 - 800 per day. These charges do not include any alcohol or any other luxury expenditures.

You would find most of the people in Bhutan following Buddhism. However, over time, there has been a considerable increase in the number of people who follow Hinduism.

Being one of the traditional nations located in across the world, Bhutan has been known to follow a very refined etiquette. People over here are normally dressed in the traditional Bhutanese dress where men wear a knee length robe which is called as Gho, while the women are known to wear what is known as Kira. Also here certain etiquettes are observed while speaking, while eating in public, while sending as well as receiving gifts and hence at many such occasions.

Dzongkha is the national language in Bhutan and hence you would find most of the people conversing in this language. The educated people of this city can also speak English as this is the language which is used for the purpose of education in Bhutan. You would also be surprised to find some people to be able to speak Hindi, although not as fluently.

Rice is the main component of the numerous meals cooked in Bhutan. Here you would find rice being served along with two or one type of side meals, including meat as well as vegetables. Some of the common vegetable eaten or consumed in Paro are tomato, spinach, pumpkin etc. There are a number of Bhutanese dish such as Ema Datshi, Phaksha Paa and everyone's favourite Dimsum or Momos which you should definitely try.

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Hotels in Punakha

Top Hotels in Punakha

  • The Four Boutique

    USD 81 /night onwards

  • Hotel Zangto Pelri

    USD 40 /night onwards

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