Punakha in central Bhutan is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty and flourishing fruit trees with a backdrop of snow crested mountains. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and serves as the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) even today. The elevation of the Punakha is relatively lower, this has blessed Punakha with a temperate climate. Punakha is fed by the Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (female) rivers that meet to form river Sankosh.
The spectacular road from Thimpu to Punakha crosses Dochu La pass at an altitude of 10,218 feet. From here Punakha valley is a gradual descent. The pass provides some of the most magnificent view of the slpine snows and colorful rhododendrons.
What to see in Punakha
Punakha Dzong : The ancient capital of Bhutan, this Dzong (fortress) is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this Dzong in 1637. Several fires and earthquakes damaged this Dzong and during the recent years it has been restored by the present monarch. The Dzong can be visited during the Punakha festival (early spring) and also during the summer months.