Descent from the Dochula passlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. Located at an elevation of 1,220 meters above sea level Punakha Valley is blessed with a temperate climate fed by the Pho Chu & Mo Chu adding to the fertility.
Below Lobeysa, standing on the hillock slightly lifted from rest of the hamlet’s dwelling is called Chimi Lhakhang. Built in 1499 by Ngawang Chogyel Drukpa hierarch and blessed by the famous “Divine Madman” Drukpa Kunley is well known for feminine pilgrimage.
It’s widely believed in Bhutan that childless couples who come to pay homage & seek empowerment are usually blessed with children.
Palace of Great Happiness is a massive structure at the confluence of Phochu & Mochu built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namagyel. Its 600*240 feet with sprawling six storied rectangular tower. The most beautiful & well-known Dzong connected with the Bhutan’s historical tradition was a seat of power and politics in medieval Bhutan.
It was in Punakha dzong where the hereditary monarchs rooted enthroning the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuk to the golden throne in 1907. The Dzong houses the most sacred relics of Drukpa Kagyu School including the most revered Rangjung Kasarpani and sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.
The record shows that the valley & Dzong has had several flash flood, year 2010 being the recent.However today it stands at its best soothing and giving the visitors the best it has to offer.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten:
On the road about ten kilometers north to Punakha, on a hillock called Nyizergang on the other side of the river, the queen mother Azhi Tshering Yangdon has had a three storied Chorten built for the peace & harmony in the country and the world at large. One can enjoy the breathtaking view of the valley from the chorten.
It was consecrated in December 1999. Being located in the countryside, a half hour hike from the road will be a well worth visit for its beautiful incredibly complex iconography.
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