Punakha


Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong

Location

The dzong is situated on a stretch of a land where two rivers – Phochu and Mochu – meet.

Background

The dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal 1937 and named it Pungthang Dewa Chenpai Phodrang, the palace of great bliss. Later it became the final retreat palace for him. The first monarch, King Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned there and it served as the capital of the country until 1955. Today it serves as the winter residence of the Central Monastic Body. The sacred relic Rangjung Kharsapani is also kept in the Machen Temple inside the dzong.


Khyime Lhakhang

Khemae lhakhang

Location

Located on a hillock in Lobesa.

Background

The temple was built in 1499 by Lam Ngawang Chogyal, the cousin of Lam Drukpa Kunley, on the spot where the latter subdued a demoness who was running away in the form of a dog. Lam Drukpa Kunley buried the demoness and said there was no dog now (khyi - dog; med - no). Hence, the temple came to be known as the “temple of no dog”. The temple contains the bow and arrows of Lam Drukpa Kunley and a phallus to bless the visitor.


Khamsum Yuley Namgyal Choeten

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten

Location

Located in Kabesa Gewog, about 7 km drive from Punakha town.

Background

The choeten was built with the sponsorship of her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck between 1992 and 1999 under the guidance of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Lam Sonam Zangpo. The three-storey choeten contains the images of Dorji Phurba on the ground floor, Khrowo Khamsum Namgyal on the first floor, and Khrowo Nampur Gyalwa on the second floor.