Punakha Dzong in Bhutan

Punakha Dzong - Bhutan

Punakha Dzong is one of the most iconic and beautiful fortresses in Bhutan. It is located in the Punakha Valley, at an approximate latitude of 27.5867° N and longitude of 89.8760° E.


Punakha Dzong was built in 1637-38 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan. It served as the capital and seat of the government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.


Punakha Dzong is a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, with its white-washed walls, golden roofs, and intricate wood carvings. The fortress is built on a strategic location at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which adds to its beauty.


Visitors to Punakha Dzong can explore the various courtyards, temples, and halls inside the fortress. Some of the must-see attractions include:

  • The Grand Assembly Hall
  • The Courtyard of the Thousand Buddhas
  • The Kuenray, or the Hall of the Sixteen Pillars
  • The Machey Lhakhang, or the Temple of the Lord of the Dance

Visitors can also witness the Punakha Tsechu, a colorful festival held annually in Punakha Dzong in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Bhutan.

Getting There

Punakha Dzong is located about 72 km (45 mi) from Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Punakha. The journey takes about 3 hours and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains.


Punakha Dzong is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Bhutan. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and natural beauty make it a unique and unforgettable experience.