Punakha Dzong

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Punakha, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong Reviews

Vikram Vikram
309 reviews
A soon-to-be UNESCO heritage site, this is the town's admin centre with the all too powerful temple Dec 04, 2016
I have two options - to spit out stats about this place (which could be a blog by itself) or stick to just describing my experiences and some tidbits I gleaned along the way. I'll stick to the later.

The Wiki page has a very good explanation about its origin, history and structure:


I'll stick to some interesting things I noticed or learnt:

- Our guide Nawang explained how several royal events, including the King's wedding happened here.

- Legend has it that the founder of this monastery arrived from Tibet and shortly thereafter dreamt that if he were to build a fortress between two rivers, he'd become powerful which explains why the Fortress was built here. The rivers in question are the Moshu and the Poshu (masculine)

- Guide Nawang explained to us the various colour scarfs we saw on men in this area (although it's true for all of Bhutan): yellow - King, orange - PM and ministers, blue - MPs, green - lawyers, etc.

- There's a rather steep staircase one must climb to get into the proper courtyard, enter the fortress basically. We wondered why that was. Apparently, it's because in case there's an attack, the staircase can be rolled up!

- We walked to one of the temples which was incredible - had big statues of Guru Rimpochey, the current Buddha and the founder of Bhutan.

- Guide Nawang explained the meaning of several paintings we'd seen in other temples across the country too. the "friendship" mural of 4 animals coexisting and building a tree that produces fruit (the theme being 'better together')

- Nawang explained how to tell the difference between the various Buddha's : The former one has his hands in a meditation pose, the current has one palm on knees and one to ground, and the next incarnation (yet to come) has his hands in a "teaching" position.

- He also explained the Buddha life story as depicted in the wall of the temple

- He explained the the 6 worlds in Buddhist folklore to us (ranging from heaven, demi-God, human and the netherworld)

- We often saw the animals snake, chicken and pig depicted on the walls. Apparently they stand for aggressiveness, vanity and ignorance.

Again, I refrained from writing too much about the Fortress itself; it would've been a regurgitation of what's on the Wiki page.

Please do visit! It's not only a stunning monument flanked by the cantilever bridge, but it holds a special place for both the citizens and tourists.
Punakha Fortress
Punakha Fortress
Entrance - see the very steep and …
cherry blossom
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Ils1976 says:
looks like an amazing place, simply beautiful
Posted on: Mar 02, 2017
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