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The former capital, Punakha was built as a defensive stronghold in the 17th century.

Punakha Dzong

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 meter 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

Chimi Lhakhang, PunakhaA 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 favorite — and most unorthodox — saints.

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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

    Places near 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.

    • Punakha Dzong, Punakha

      Six Senses Punakha


      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 meters above the valley floor.

    • Meri Puensum Resort, Punakha

      Meri Puensum Resort


      Lying approximately 5 km 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 Punakha valley.

    • Courtyard dining, Amankora Punakha

      Amankora Punakha


      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.

    • Uma Punakha, Punakha

      COMO Uma Punakha


      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.

    • Punakha Dzong Excursion
      Punakha Dzong

      Punakha Dzong Excursion

      Punakha Dzong Excursion

      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.

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