Punakha Dzong is Perched between the massive Phochu and Mochu rivers, it is the second of Bhutan’s dzongs. For many years until the time of the 2nd king, it served as the seat of the government. Guru Rinpoche foretold the construction of Punakha Dzong and Zhabdrung build in 1637, and established the Central Monastic Body here with 600 monks. It is still the winter residence of the Central Monk Body.
Punthang Dechenphodrang dzong burned in 1750 and again in 1798. Several temples were added after the second reconstruction. Another fire in 1802, 1831, and 1849 was assumed deliberate and suffered major damage from the 1897 earthquake. The latest fire in 1986 damaged the residence of the Je Khenpo, which has since been restored to its original grandeur.
Importance of Punakha Dzong
Pungthang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang is inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country.
In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteshvara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated.
Historical memoir of Punakha Dzong
On October 13, 2011, the wedding of the 5th King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and his fiancé, Jyeltsuen Jetsun Pema, was held at the Punakha Dzong. Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200m above sea level. Owing to the favorable climatic conditions, rice is the main cash crop.