Punakha Dzong

Walk within the walls of an ancient fortress

The Punakha Dzong

The Punakha Dzong, also known as the Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong, literally translates to the ‘palace of great happiness or bliss.’ Regarded as Bhutan’s chief Dzong and administrative hub of the Punakha District, the fortress is both the second oldest and second largest Dzong in the kingdom. Widely acknowledged as the most artistic and aesthetically pleasing Dzong in Bhutan, the nearly 400-year-old fortress boasts a six-story central tower, whitewashed walls and timber windowpanes. Built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, a Tibetan Buddhist lama and the uniter of Bhutan as a kingdom, every Bhutanese king has been crowned here and it is still in use as the winter residence of the official monk body of the kingdom. Observe a towering gold statue of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, as well as paintings of one thousand Buddhas and end your experience with a blessing from the desire-fulfilling statue of Sakyamuni.

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