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Himalayan Adventures. 2015 - All Rights Reserved - Thimphu - Bhutan

Seventy-seven kilometres from Thimphu at an altitude of 1350 m lies the fertile valley of Punakha well irrigated by the Pho Chhu and the Mo Chhu (the male and the female rivers). With a temperate climate to add to that the valley produces crops and fruits in abundance. The old capital of Bhutan till 1955 it is the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot of Bhutan. On the way from the new capital to the old, splendid views of the Himalayas can be had at the Dochula Pass, which is at 10,500 ft.


Punakha Dzong: It was built by Shabdrung in the 17th Century to serve as the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan. Located strategically between the Pho and Mo Chuu rivers fire however has attacked it four times not to mention an earthquake, which damaged the Dzong. However the present King has had it restored to its original magnificence and splendour. In 1993 the largest thongdroel ever created was dedicated to the Dzong and the people of Punakha valley by His majesty the King and the Je Khenpo at a three-day ceremony for which Bhutan's highest nobility had gathered. Visitors are allowed into the Dzong during the Punakha festival and during the summer when the monk body moves to Thimphu.


Limbhukha: Ride to the Punakha Dzong and walk across the suspension bridge. Follow the farmhouses gradually climbing towards Dompola Hills. The view of the Dzong, Phochu, Mochu Rivers and the surrounding village is superb amidst chirpine forest. The climb is another two and half hours to the Limbhukha. Limbhukha is also known for its love of peace and tranquility. The legend say that during the medieval wars the “limpus” or the people of Limbhukha always volunteered as peace negotiators. This is depicted during the yearly festival called “Serda” when the men are found carrying a peace flags instead of swords and fireworks.

Khamsum Yulley Chorten/Crown Prince’s Monastery: Ride further north of Punakha towards Saunagatsha where the palaces of the Royal Family are located. The hike takes about 1 hr to the Monastery that is built for the Crown Prince by his mother for his long life and well being. The monastery is a Zangtopelri or Paradise Monastery that is a 3 tier monastery on top of a hillock. Once on the top the views of Punakha valley is a rewarding view.