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Punakha Monastery
Punakha dzong reconstructed
Straddling the confluence of the snow-fed Phochu and Mochu rivers in Punakha the five gilded pinnacles of the Dewachenpoi Phodrang glisten in the sunlight, more brilliant than ever. After centuries of natural and man-caused dilapidation this magnificent monument that represents one of the most memorable landmarks in Bhutanese history has been restored to its former glory on the personal initiative of the fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

The work on the Punakha Dzong epitomises the highest quality of the 13 crafts of the zorig chusum tradition. Apart from the traditional Bhutanese woodwork, masonry, metalwork, and paintings on the colossal main structures, the new treasures that have enriched the numerous lhakhangs in the dzong include more than 200 sacred images intricately crafted out of the five menjim (precious substances) and modern elements that include copper, brass, and other metals.

Punakha Valley


Over the centuries, the dzong has been repeatedly challenged by man and nature. It was damaged by fires in 1780, 1789, 1802, 1831, 1849, and in 1986. There was a massive earthquake in 1897 and a devastating flash flood in 1994 when the Dzongchhung, which houses the images of the Jhou (Lord Buddha) and Dupthob Nagi Rinchhen (Vanaratna), was nearly washed away.

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