for Punakha Khamsum_YulleyPunakha (1,310m) is Bhutan’s ancient capital and the winter seat of the Central Monastic Body due to its sub-tropical climate. The Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by the Shabdrung (the unifier of Bhutan), is situated on a triangular spit of land at the confluence of two rivers. The body of the Shabdrung, who died in 1651 while in meditation at Punakha, is preserved at the Dzong. Its main temple is breathtaking with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. Other highlights includes the incredible views from Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten and Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to Bhutan’s popular saint Drukpa Kuenley, otherwise known as the “divine madman” due to his unorthodox methods of religious teaching.


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