Visit Punakha, Bhutan
The former capital, Punakha was built as a defensive stronghold in the 17th century.
The country's most idyllic dzong is situated at the confluence of two rivers. Breathtaking from outside and rewarding inside with rich wall paintings and friendly local monks.
Reached by crossing the 3,116 metre Dochu La, the fertile valley floor is the winter home of the country’s largest monk body and produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which you won’t see anywhere else in the country.
Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of the Divine Madman
A gentle stroll across rice paddies and through a small settlement of painted houses brings you to Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of the Divine Madman, one of Bhutan’s favourite – and most unorthodox – saints.
Suggested itineraries featuring Punakha
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Punakha, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Punakha
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Punakha
Accommodation choices for Punakha
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Punakha. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Just a fifteen-minute drive north of the Punakha Dzong, this beautiful lodge, known as the ‘Flying Farmhouse amidst the rice fields’ is nestled several hundred metres above the valley floor.
Nestled amid terraced rice fields with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, Amankora Punakha is a haven of tranquility at one end of the Punakha valley.
Lying approximately 5 kms from Punakha village and with good views of the valley area. The 20 rooms are spacious and there are lovely views down across the river and the valley. There is a large dining area and bar where you can relax after a day exploring the Puankha valley.
Uma by COMO, Punakha, is located on a river bend in the Punakha Valley offering stunning views of pristine Himalayan scenery.
Ideas for experiencing Punakha
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Punakha, and which use the best local guides.
Built in 1637, Punakha Dzong served as the seat of the government until the mid 20th century. Over the centuries it has suffered damage from several fires and flooding but still remains one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan.