Punakha is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag. It is one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955 till the capital was moved to Thimphu. Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first King of Bhutan. Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan. It is situated in the sub-tropical Punakha Valley. The old capital was centered in Punakha Dzong situated between Pho Chu and Mo Chu river and was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The beautiful dzong has been destroyed by four fires and an earthquake in 1897 has now been fully restored to its original splendor.
It is about 72 kilometers away from Thimpu and it takes about 3 hours by car from the capital Thimphu. It is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of nearly 1200 metres. Cultivation especially rice and potatoes is grown as the main crop. It is situated along the river valleys of two main rivers namely the Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Dzongkha is widely spoken in this district. A drive from Thimpu to Punakha nearly 75 kilometers - A short stop at Dochula pass situated at 3080 meters and visit Punakha Dozng and Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten - Stay at Punakha – Next day drive via Wangduephodrang to Paro approximately 145 kilometers nearly 5 hours - On route visit Simtokha Dzong is the best way to explore the region. We will include it the package if needed by our guest.
Ritsha literally means the base of a hill. It is a typical village in Punakha. The houses are made of pounded mud with stone foundations. Each house is two storeys high. They are surrounded by the gardens and the rice fields. The gardens generally have fruit bearing plants like oranges, papaya, etc. Other places to visit are Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang known as the ‘The Palace of Great Bliss’ was built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung. The gigantic Dzong was damaged 6 times by fire, once by flood and once by an earthquake. Punakha’s reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture is worth visiting. This district altitude ranges from 1300 meters at the valley floor rises to almost 3000 meters around Dochhu La pass
If you are flying to Paro and wish to explore Bhutan in just a couple of days, we would suggest trying a minimum of four days package of Bhutan Tour if entered by airways. If one wishes to combine both trek and tour in your Bhutan trip, we recommend to undertake twelve days Bhutan Cultural Tour which generally includes three to four days Bumthang Trek or the ten days Druk Path Trek that offers cultural highlights of Bhutan combined with five days trek and three days package tour.
Our packages are well planned and operated, respecting the natural and cultural heritage of Bhutan. This helps this mystic country in Himalayas maintain its age-old traditions in the modern world. So Bhutan Travel Packages, sightseeing, adventure, religious, cultural packages are designed by us. It is meant for the exploration of these attractions under Bhutan Tour Package, Thimphu Tour Packages, Budget or cheap Tour Packages to Bhutan, Religious Tour Package to Bumathang, Paro & Thimpu, and best tour packages for the Himalayan Region of Bhutan with sightseeing at each places, Bhutan Hotel Packages, Hotel Packages for Paro, Thimpu Stay, Bhutan tourism Packages, Bhutan trek etc can be searched in our site. By Air two days trip can be reduced as the entry will be directly at Paro and when entry by road two nights additional stay is necessary and a day is used for reaching Paro or Thimpu. Phuentsholing, Thimpu, Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Gangtey Gompa, Phobjikha, Trongsa, Bumathang, Mongar, Trashigang, Lhuentse, Trashiyangtse, etc are some of the other places of interest in Bhutan. Bhutan packages covers Paro and Thimpu a must and the other places as per the choices and time of guest.
Airways – Nearest Airport is Paro. Bagdogra airport (IXB) is 182 Kilometer from Phuentsholling. Bhutan’s national air carrier, Druk Air, operates several flights per week from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, etc to Paro. One of the spectacular flights flies passengers through the stretch between Kathmandu and Bhutan. The flight passes along the Himalayan Range and all the peaks seems so close to eyes, it’s a flight to cherish. Recent addition is the flight from Paro to Bangkok via Bagdogra airport.
Roadways – Punakha is 72 kilometers from Thimpu. Phuentsholling is three / four hour's drive from Bagdogra / New Jalpaiguri and six to seven hour’s drive from Gangtok or Darjeeling. The Royal Bhutanese Government runs a bus service to Phuentsholling from Kolkata. These buses depart from Kolkata Esplanade bus station and reaches Phuentsholing via Siliguri. Phuentsholling is the only entry / exit point via road. The other is only entry point is in Assam.
Railways – There are no railway in Bhutan. Government of India is planning to set up a railway network as per a recent understanding between the two countries. New Jalpaiguri is the major Railway Station (NJP) is the nearest major railway terminal. Yet one can travel close up to the Bhutan border by Indian Railway to Hashimara. Nearest major railway station is Alipurduar but Birpara is close by a few kilometers in the Northern Frontier Railway.