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Best Places to Visit in Punakha City of 2017

  • 01 Chimi L hakhang Temple

    Chimi L hakhang Temple
    Image Credit : Chimi L hakhang Temple
    One of the most revered temples of Bhutan, Chimi L’hakhang is considered as the temple of fertility, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the Divine Madman. Lama Drukpa Kuenley is a legendry saint in Bhutan, who is much revered in the country but because of his unusual way of teaching, he is considered an eccentric.

    People from all across the country come to the temple to pray for children. The couples visiting the temple are sanctified with a wooden phallus, the imitation of the saint’s iron bow and arrows and his scriptures. Surrounded by the abundant paddy fields this temple is a must visit.



    Location
    : The temple lies on the edge of the Lobesa valley on the confluence of the borders of Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang.

    Best time/season
    : The best time to visit the Chimi L'hakhang Temple is spring and autumn.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 02 Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

    Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Image Credit : Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Standing regally on the hill above the Punakha valley, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a classic example of beautiful traditions and architecture of Bhutan. The temple was built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother for warding off the negative forces and bringing peace and harmony for all the living beings. The thing that sets this Chorten apart is that it was built on the principals described in the Holy Scriptures rather than modern engineering manuals. The golden spire and intricate wall patterns are fine example of art and tradition of Bhutan.



    Highlight
    : Enjoy the panoramic view of the valley from the top of the Chorten. The little hike to reach the Chorten will take you to the adventurous suspension bridge and the lush green rice fields.

    \Location
    : Located in Punakha Valley the hill at which the Chorten is standing is half hour drive from Punakha Dzong.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Prices
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

  • 03 Jigme Dorji National Park

    Jigme Dorji National Park
    Image Credit : Jigme Dorji National Park
    The exotic park was built by the 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorgi in 1974 and is approx 4, 316 km in area. The park is second largest in the country and is a dwelling to many endangered animals such as snow Leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic wild dog, Red Panda etc.

    The national park is an ideal place for trekking because of its magnificent spread of flora and fauna. Hence, it is also known as Trekker’s Paradise. The park is also the dwelling of the Semi Nomadic Community, Layap. Four rivers Mocchu, Pocchu,Wangchu, Pachu originate from this park; therefore is one of the largest contributors of Bhutan’s economy.



    Highlights
    : Largest collection of medicinal baths and hot springs; only place where the Snow leopard meets the Royal Bengal tiger; views of majestic peaks namely Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu drakey

    Location
    : Gasa

    Cost
    : N/A

    Best season
    : March to October


    Top Things To Do in Jigme Dorji National Park

  • 04 Punakha Dzong

    Punakha Dzong
    Image Credit : Punakha Dzong
    Bhutan is renowned for its marvellous ancient architecture scattered throughout the land. Punakha Dzong is one such beautiful architecture and offers a stunning sight of the luminous aura of the white washed walls on a bright sunny day. Golden, red and black painted woods add to the charisma of this striking architecture.

    The Dzong is surrounded by the splendid natural beauty with lush green hills and clear blue sky as a backdrop. The Dzong is also of historical and traditional importance in Bhutan. For a long time it served as the capital. It also preserves the remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and holy artefact Ranjung Karsapani.

     

    Location
    : Located at the confluence of beautiful rivers of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu in Punakha & Khuruthang , Bhutan.

    Best time/season
    : The best time to visit the Punakha Dzong is mid-May when lavender coloured jacaranda trees blossom.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 05 Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

    Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
    Image Credit : Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
    The magnificent and tranquil Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery sits atop a hill and commands the view of the gorgeous Punakha valley and Wangduephodrang valley. Standing amidst the lush pine trees, this structure is a beautiful demonstration of fine architecture and tradition of Bhutan.

    The gleaming white washed walls are complemented by the richly carved woods painted in black, red and golden colour and decorated with illustrious designs. The temple is home to a colossal 14 feet bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara. There are several other statues inside the temple. Inside the complex there is a meditation centre of nuns.


    Highlights
    : The temple provides a gorgeous view of the surrounding value and tranquil environment for peace and meditation. You also get an opportunity for bird watching and witnessing river smoke, an interesting and rare natural phenomenon.

    Location
    : The temple complex is located in Wangdue.

    Timing
    : 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Prices
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

  • 06 Torsa Strict Nature Reserve

    Torsa Strict Nature Reserve
    Image Credit : Torsa Strict Nature Reserve
    Torsa is one of the most famous tourist attractions for it is the only Nature Reserve in the world which has not been destroyed by human inhabitation. It is adorned with beautiful alpine and broad leaves tree forests, making it a favoured trekking route in Bhutan. The name came to existence from the River Toorsa which penetrates from Tibet.

    The Nature Reserve is situated at this Junction is bordering both Sikkim and China. The Nature reserve is also a dwelling to many species of endangered flora and fauna, Rufous necked Hornbill being one of them.



    Highlights
    : Excellent climate, landscapes include deciduous forests, alpine meadows, scrublands and temperate forests. A small lake, Sinchulunga, which is the source of fresh water stream is part of the Reserve; undisturbed by human settlement, this place showcases a unique tranquillity and serenity.

    Location
    : Western Haa

    Best season
    : March to September and Jan to March


    Top Things To Do in Torsa Strict Nature Reserve

  • 07 Punakha Winter Trek

    Punakha Winter Trek
    Image Credit : Punakha Winter Trek
    Having an altitude of 3400 meters this is one of the easiest and the most popular trekking journey among amateur trekkers through the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha. The trekking trail commences from Thimphu and concludes in the beautiful Punakha valley. Being a short trek, the gradual slopes on the trekking trail does not seem to be too much concern for the hikers.

    The old foot trail snakes through luscious valleys, green landscapes, dense forestlands and golden rice fields. The trail crosses through Phajoding Monastery and beautiful Sinchula Pass. Due to low altitude and much warmer climate, the trek is often preferred during winters.



    Highlights
    : Phajoding Monastry

    Duration
    : 4 days/3 nights

    Location
    : Punakha, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March to May, September to November are considered as ideal time, however it can be done during December to February too.


  • 08 Punakha

    Punakha
    Image Credit : Punakha
    Punakha is the Punakha Dzong’s administrative centre which is the second largest and the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Some may even refer to the Punakha Dzong as the Palace of Great Happiness or the Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang.

    Highlights: Punakha is one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Until 1955, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan. Post that the capital was changed to Thimphu. Known for the Punakha Dzong which is the most majestic and gorgeous dzong of the country, the place is a must visit. It is accessible via a 3 hour drive east of the capital city of Thimpu. You can reach the dzong after crossing a pass in the mountains. This place is glorious and breath taking right from the first glimpse of it from the road. Nestled strategically between the two rivers Mo Chu (females) and Pho Chu (male), you’ll see noticeable color difference between the river’s waters. Punakha is affixed to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge. It comprises of several precious relics from the times when successive kings resigned from the kingdom over Punakha.

    Location: It is located 72 km away from Thimpu.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free


  • 09 Punakha Suspension Bridge

    Punakha Suspension Bridge
    Image Credit : Punakha Suspension Bridge
    The Punakha valley of Bhutan is offers a mesmerizing view of natural beauty to the beholder. Amidst this natural setting lies the second longest suspension bridge of the country. Built high on the river Po Chu, this arched wooden bridge connects the Punakha Dzong with Punakha City and the smaller villages scattered in the valley. A visit to this Bridge is must if you are seeking a bit of thrill and adrenaline pump in your body while surrounding amidst natural beauty.



    Highlights: Crossing the bridge is a fun in its own way. However, do not forget to make a visit to the nearby Punakha Dzong, a beautiful ancient fortress which houses valuable relics of time immemorial.

    Location
    : Located 10 minutes drive away Punakha Dzong, the bridge connects the mainland and the nearby villages and Dzong.

    Timing
    : The best time to visit it is 9 AM in the morning.

    Price
    : N/A


  • 10 Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival

    Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival
    Image Credit : Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival
    A popular annual festival, Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen gets celebrated in Punakha which is located in the western side of Bhutan. The festival has great historical importance which makes it more popular among natives. In 17thcentury, Tibetan forces invaded Bhutan from where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Buddhist saint, led the victory of the country.

    This auspicious occasion was celebrated with the introduction of the celebration of Punakha Drubchen which is continued till date once every year. In 2005, Punakha Tshechu was introduced to preserve Buddhist documents and his teachings. Usually these festivals occur simultaneously and in both of them much entertainment is provided by performances in folk dance. Religious customs are performed in both the festivals in the same manner as done in earlier times



    Highlights
    : Folk dances by the natives.

    Festival Time
    : Usually in the month of March


  • 11 Zangdo Pelri Temple

    Zangdo Pelri Temple
    Image Credit : Zangdo Pelri Temple
    Zangdo Pelri Temple is a religious and holy place of Bhutan that lies in the Phuntsholing town. It represents the abode of the revered Guru Rinpochey.

    Highlights: Zangdo Pelri Temple is a magnificent place in Bhutan that definitely deserves your attention. On the earth level of this temple, you can find the statues of Guru along with his eight Manifestations. The wall is enclosed with several paintings taken from the life of Buddha. On the second floor of the temple, you can find statues of Avalokiteshwaram, eight Bodhisattavas and Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal. Finally, on the top floor you can see the main statue of the Buddha Amitabha.

    Location: Zangdo Pelri Temple is located near the weekend market in Phuntsholing in Bhutan.

    Timings: Can be visited from dawn to dusk each day.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 12 Samtengang Winter Trek

    Samtengang Winter Trek
    Image Credit : Samtengang Winter Trek
    Starting from Punakha, Samtengang Winter Trek is a short and considerably simple and easy trek to Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag with average altitude rising not more than 1900 meters. The climate is excellent and due to low altitude preserves warmer climate which is pleasant and soothing. The trekking trail is devoid of uncomfortable steeps and heights making the trail quite smooth for the amateur hikers.

    The trail passes through rhododendron forest which is a delight to see especially in monsoon times. The region also posses dense vegetation with oak and maple trees and also the longest foot bridge of Bhutan. Villages like Sha and Chungsakha also falls on this trail. It is approximately 54 km in length.



    Highlights
    : Sha viilage and lifestyle of Bhutanese people based there.

    Duration
    : 3 days trekking tour.

    Location
    : Near Punakha, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March - April, October to November. However due to low altitude it can be visited in winter too.


  • 13 Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

    Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Image Credit : Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    The Khamsam Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a beautiful monastery which is situated at a ridge above the Punakha Valley. It's a four storey majestic temple which was built by Bhutanese carpenters, painters and sculptors in a period of 9 years.

    Highlights: If you want to have a view of the splendid architectural and artistic vision of the Bhutanese culture, this is the perfect place to visit. The place has become a huge tourist attraction place as it is one of its kind in the world. The extensive rice fields and miniature chortens that surround the temple also add up to the nice aura.

    Location: It is located in the region of Punakha in Bhutan

    Timings: There is no timing as such but since it’s a temple, the ideal timings are from early morning to evening.

    Pricing: Visit to the temple and surrounding regions is completely free of cost.


  • Nearby Getaways from Punakha City
  • 01 Guwahati

    Guwahati.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    The gateway to the northeast and the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the region, Guwahati serves as the starting block for the other seven sisters locations . This featureless city – a prosaic heap of glass and concrete for the most part – is a blend of old and new sights but there are a scattering of interesting temples to explore, when it comes to tourist places in Guwahati. Walk its back alleys and old quarters to  click some timeless picture and you will be able to salvage a generous amount of local flavour that lingers amid its suburban sprawl of ponds, palm trees, small single-storey traditional houses and old colonial-era mansions.It is located on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra and is the largest city of Assam and Northeast. The place has many ancient temples and is also known as the ‘city of temples’ in Northeast India. The temple is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya an incarnation of Sati. It is on Nilachal hill, says the Shiva Purana, which the yoni or creative organ of Sati fell when Vishnu, in a bid to save the world from the Shiva’s tandava nritya or dance of destruction, cut her dead body into 51 pieces with his sudarshan chakra. Other ancient temples located in the city are Navagraha temple, Umananda temple which is tucked on an island on the river Brahmaputra, Balaji Temple; you can also visit the state Zoo.

     

    The British legacy is still visible in the architecture and food habits of the population. The place serves as the starting block to getaways like Meghalaya, Kaziranga National Park, Kohima, Imphal, Tawang, Mawlynnong, Bhalukpong, Dirang, Bomdila, Tezpur etc.  Northeast is a hidden treasure of India and if you really want to explore the best of India then do not miss this region with exceptional vistas, phenomenal cultural differences in each state and a the unaltered Himalayas with some of the highest peaks in the world. The tourist places in Guwahati are indeed is a place for every traveling soul to visit once.

  • 02 Paro

    1491912655_paro.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Paro, also called as Dzongka, is a town located in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is a town of historic importance with many sacred religious sites and historical buildings. Situated in the only carbon negative country in the world, there is no doubt that you are going to get a sheer experience of nature’s serenity at its best.

    A trip to Paro is one of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have, because it is not like other tourist and sight-seeing destinations, which are jam-packed with crowd. Paro is a place where you will get to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city and over-crowd and you will cherish every moment spent here, in the most tranquil atmosphere you will ever experience.

    Located in the backdrop of a range of mountains and nestling in the lap of one of the best landscape views in the world, Paro is indeed an epitome of heaven on earth. Paro has to offer a lot to different types of travelers. Right from calm atmosphere, fresh weather, adventure trekking routes, water sports, religious sites, rich culture, traditions and vibrant festivals, there is a lot in Paro for every type of vacation seeker.


  • 03 Darjeeling

    Darjeeling-Wikipedia.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    On a summer day, the fragrance of tea leaves lifts off the hills and hover over Darjeeling like a hat and the wonderful things breathes unsaid inside that, like the bent trees, the happy earthworms, the reluctant tea-colored puddles, flowering Rhododendrons and Magnolia plants and the wild garden flowers blooming in different colors of rainbow and a British bungalow growing a fragile façade of greenery for ages amidst a sprawling tea garden. The tourist places in Darjeeling will leave a traveler mesmerized and awed with the beauty that the place offers.And when the heavens’ open up to hammer the water down, the grass looks wet-green and pleased, loose earth shapes off its edges, the washed off dust-green trees smiles afresh and the green countryside glitters in the traces of sunshine.Covered with the dense evergreen forests of Sal and Oak, with ducks and teals creating waves in water, and with rare breeds of orchid spreading colors on a moist soil, Darjeeling, a previous summer capital of India under the British Raj holds the incredible panoramic views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks, beautiful colonial architecture including mansions and churches, an influence of diverse cultures in the majestic craft and cuisine, a beautiful women, the taker of the seeds with a yellow scarf on her head and tea-bag on her shoulders, and a vast expanse of Tea estates in its root.

     

    This “Mecca of Tea” with over 80 operational tea gardens spread across acres of land, writes on a foggy day sitting inside a vintage Toy Train from 1880s, a whimsical poem, of what is delightfully read as the "Champagne of tea". The northwest winds visit Darjeeling to tear it full of holes but the new beautiful things come in the first spit of spring on the northwest wind, and the old leaves go, not one lasts but the beauty stays with the new and lasts for eternity. Darjeeling is a beauty that won’t let your heart stop, from beating in ecstasy, and the tourist places in Darjeeling shall always ensure that!

  • 04 Shillong

    Shillong.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    An abode of clouds, the rolling hills around the town and the hill station of one of the smallest states of India, Meghalaya. With the best places to visit in Shillong, it is a geography synonymous to heaven, is the painting hung on your drawing-room wall, a collage of memories yet to be lived.

    This prepossessing land is a beauty that floats on high over vales and hills, where the tall pine trees are seen fluttering and dancing in the breeze, and the clouds find a space along the margins of a hill unfolding the enchanting blue sky. The mystique land perched on an escarpment is more than enough to leave your imagination spell-bound.

    Capital city of the state Meghalaya - a perfect blend of old charm and fresh essence, this bliss of solitude carries a number of things like falls, parks, peaks, landscapes and museums to keep a traveler’s head tossing in sprightly dance.

    With the best places to visit in Shillong, this surprising holiday destination will make you forget to stop the shutters of your cam. The god’s honest harvest is ready to find a space among the favorites in your travel diary.

  • 05 Gangtok

    1493365198_1280px-Ban_Jhakri_Falls_-_Gangtok.jpg
    Image Credit : 

    Gangtok, the exotic capital city of Sikkim, is a Buddhist haven. In sync with the Zen philosophy that divinity can only make its way through clear and clean surroundings, Gangtok is an epitome of neatness and is one of the few such places in India. The stunning panoramic views of the snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga, only add to the Gangokian environs. Offering the best tourist places in Gangtok, this place is also famous for its distinct cuisine, of which Momos and Kinema, are an excellent example. Gangtok is a city of great food, atmospheric sceneries and beautiful Buddhist monasteries, which include Rumtek and Enchey. It has great potential for sightseeing as well, including the Nathu La Pass and Tsomgo Lake. Gangtok is also a testament to the unique fashion sense of the North East. The folks here are known to have a keen sense of style and have a totally refreshing way of wearing the most casual outfits. Gangtok also has a very folksy and indie live-music sentiment. Finally, the people make the place and it is the helpful and friendly citizens of Gangtok, who are true exemplars of the principles of the Buddhist lifestyle.   

    Situated in the eastern Himalayan range, state capital Gangtok combines a modern, resort town style with ancient spiritual beliefs and an impressive natural heritage. Mountain views act as the backdrop to holidays in Gangtok, where much of the focus also lies on the monasteries, shrines, and temples of this old center of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage. Local delicacies such as momo (stuffed dumplings) also link Gangtok to Tibet. Use Gangtok as your gateway for exploring the state and beyond, with tour operators offering a number of day excursions and longer trips. To know more about the best tourist places in Gangtok, read below:

  • 06 Siliguri

  • 07 Tawang

  • 08 Lukla

  • 09 Alipurduar

  • 10 Sonapur