Timings : March - September: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM October - February: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Time Required : 1 hour
Entry Fee : Nu 300. If you are a student, carry your student's ID card to avail 50% discount.
Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and second largest dzong in the country. It was here that the first national assembly was held in 1953 and it remained the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955. Not only does this dzong boast of Bhutanese architectural marvel, but it also remains culturally important for housing sacred relics of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal, the Tibetan Buddhist lama and unifier of the country of Bhutan.
Located at the intersection of the Pho Chuu and Mo Chuu rivers in the Punakha Valley, Punakha Dzong was constructed in 1637 by Ngawang Namgyal. It is over 180 metres (590 feet) long and 72 metres (236 feet) wide having six towers surrounding it and the only way to reach the dzong is by crossing the bazam (bridge).
It was built within a year of construction and interestingly, it was built without the use of any nails. Punakha Dzong is listed in Bhutan’s tentative list for UNESCO inclusion for its cultural, religious, and architectural significance in the region. Moreover, Punakha Dzong’s altitude of 1,200 metres provides relief while adjusting to altitudes in the region, making this an ideal location to begin a journey in Bhutan.
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