Punakha Dzong

Two rivers meander through the Punakha Valley. Where they come together stands a large temple complex, the Punakha Dzong.

Punakha Dzong

Punakha showpiece

The morning fog is still hanging in the valley. But slowly the green slopes of Dompala become visible. Terraces full of rice paddies pile up against the hills. Higher the pine forest begins. If you climb a long time, you will see the valley. Farmers grow the red rice bhutan is known for. An unpaved path leads to their mud houses against the slope. Deeper in the valley, two rivers, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu,glisten. Follow their flow and the water will bring your gaze to the Punakha Dzong. The showpiece of the valley.

If you want to get closer, you have to brave the 200-metre suspension bridge. The complex with 108 temples is located on the spot where the rivers meet. The Dzong was built in 1637 as a religious and political centre and still the temple is the place for national events in Bhutan. And a visit is worth while, because the authentic Bhutan architecture is easy to see from the hilltop. But the traditional prayer hall and the six floors of the largest temple can only be admired inside. The Buddhist paintings are hidden against interior walls. Other religious objects such as the great Thongdrel, a canvas with religious scenes on it, are only shown during the festivals. The monks, on the other hand, are there every day. And without paying much attention to visitors, they still give them a picture of religious existence.

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