PUNAKHA – Ancient Capital of Bhutan
The PUNAKHA area is blessed with a temperate climate and drained by the Pochu (Male) and Mochu (Female) rivers, the valley produces rich crops of rice and fruits, including mangoes, bananas and oranges. Until 1955, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan and even today, it is seat of religion.
In 1637, Zhabdung Ngawang Namgyal built PUNAKHA DZONG at the junction of Pochu and Mochu rivers to serve both religious and administrative centre for Bhutan. PUNAKHA DZONG houses many sacred temples, including the temple, where the embalmed of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in the state. In keeping with tradition, the everyday rituals, including the serving of meals, are carried out as they were done during Zhabdrung’s lifetime.