The road from Simtokha winds up to pine forests and through small villages for 20 kilometers then opens miraculously onto the northern ridge in the mountains. The view over the Himalayas at Do Chula Pass, at 10,500 feet is in and of itself worth a Bhutan vacation. Punakha lies about a two hours drive from Do Chula Pass down low in its valley. Punakha Dzong is a home to the central monk body.
Punakha Valley lies below the 10,500 feet Do Chula Pass where one can get the most spectacular view of the Black Mountain range. Punakha Dzong, astride two rivers, is the winter home to the monk body. Despite ravages by several fires through the years, the Dzong houses many artifacts and the embalmed body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Some distance from the Dzong, on a promontory stands the Chime Lhakhang, a temple of fertility.
Monuments to visit in Phunakha
- Punakha Dzong: Dzong is situated between the two rivers. This river is one of the biggest rivers in Bhutan . We have to walk through the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan to reach the Dzong . The Dzong was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu ( Male River ) and Mo Chu ( Female River ).
- Chime Lhakhang: The Temple of Fertility built in 15th century by lama Drukpa Kinley. (This monk is popularly known as the Devine madman for his philosophy, “Salvation through sex” ).