Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang commonly known as Punakha Dzong is the most grandiose and historic dzong in Punakha Valley. In the native language Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang means the “Palace of Great Bliss”. Punakha Dzong is situated along the banks of Mo Chuu and Po Chuu on the outskirts of the main town of Punakha Valley. Built in 1637-38 Punakha Dzong is also the 2nd oldest and 2nd largest Dzong in Bhutan. Overlooking the scenic gorge, Punakha Dzong with its grandiose structure has been a must visit places in Punakha Valley.

Interesting Fact About Punakha Dzong

Did you know? The hill atop which the Punakha Dzong is built resembles the trunk of an elephant and all the Kings of Bhutan were coroneted in Punakha Dzong.

History Of Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong was founded by Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zabdrung Rinpoche. According to the Bhutanese Legend, Guru Padmasambava had already foretold about the event where a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant. Since the time of its establishment, Punakha Dzong has been damaged 6 times by fire, once by earthquake and once by flood.

Since the past 3 centuries, Punakha Dzong has been renovated by many people. The eye-catching golden dome of central utse of Punakha Dzong was added in 1676 by local ruler called Gyaltsen Tenzin Rabgye. Likewise many revered saint and ruler had added sacred relics and framework in Punakha Dzong, contributing the current grandiose structure of Punakha Dzong.

Things To See In Punakha Dzong

  • Sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Rangjung Kasarpani
  • Remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the Terton Pema Lingpa
  • Memorial Chapel of Punakha Dzong housing the confiscated artillery from the defected Tibetan Army
  • The six storey high central utse of Punakha Dzong houses the Theranghung, a self-created image of Avalokitesvara
  • Sacred Throdol of Punakha Dzong which is only displayed once a year
  • Thangka depicting the portray of Zabdrung in Punakha Dzong
  • Handcrafted religious masks used during the annual tsechu

Things To Remember While Visiting Punakha Dzong

  • Visitors need to were full length clothes while visiting Punakha Dzong
  • Making loud noises is not acceptable

Punakha Dzong Timings

Travelers should note the timings of Punakha Dzong since there are two different timings of Punakha Dzong for summer and winter season. The Timings of Punakha Dzong are as follows:

From June to Mid November travelers can visit Punakha Dzong anytime between 9am to 5pm.

From Mid November to May travelers can visit Punakha Dzong anytime between 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm.

How To Reach Punakha Dzong

The most convenient way to reach Punakha Dzong is by walking from the main town of Punakha. The view of purple jacaranda flowers dotting the route leading to grandiose Punakha Dzong and crossing the quaint wooden bridge to reach Punakha Dzong has enthralled the minds of many travelers. From the main town it takes an approx 30mins walk to reach Punakha Dzong.

Distance: The distance between Punakha to Punakha Dzong is 3 kilometers.


Places to visit in Bhutan