Punakha former capital of Bhutan is located in western part of the kingdom. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until 1960's, and still retains serene atmosphere of a place with a regal past. Punakha dzong is the main attraction, but there are also other sites of interest in and around this pleasant little town. Along with Paro and Jakar, Punakha completes the triangle of most popular tourist destinations. Go for trekking anywhere and everywhere from Punakha. Crime has got no possibilities here. One can walk for long hours.
Punakha valley is famous in Bhutan for rice farming. Both red and white rice are grown along the river valley of Po chu and Mo Chu, two of the most prominent rivers in Bhutan. This is a modern rice growing village in western Bhutan
Punakha Dzong: Majestically standing on an island between the confluence of Po Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, city's dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan's ancient fortresses, and you will see pictures of it hanging in hotels and restaurants throughout the kingdom. The dzong is joined to mainland by an arched wooden bridge and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom from this valley.
Guru Rinpoche Caves (Geon Tsephu): Steep two hour walk from the small community of Mitesgang, there is a small temple at the caves where pilgrims can lay their bedding. Otherwise the pasture just below provides space for camping.
Hot Springs (tsachu): Koma Tsachu is a vigorous two hour walk from the small community of Mitesgang. There are three bathing pools covered by simple roofs, and a four roomed building with solar lighting where sleeping bags and mats can be laid (there is no charge for staying in the building). Outside, there is ample room to pitch tents and rock overhangs to camp under.
Chimi Lhakhang: Also known as Fertility Temple or Monastery, is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha District. Prayer flags are lined all along the road from tiny village hamlet known as Yowakha, along a drain or stream to the monastery. Lama Kunley had called this hillock where the monastery exists as the breast of a woman because of its round shape.
Punakha Drubchen is a unique festival because it hosts a dramatic recreation of the scene from the 17th century battle with Tibetan army. The ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dress in traditional battle gear and reenact the ancient battle scene.