Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour
Punakha | Bhutan
09 Nov 2019 | Sat
Day 03 of 13
After a short 15 minute drive from Chimi Lhakhang, it was time to visit one of the most beautiful structures in Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong. We first stopped off by a small park (Confluence View) that was a perfect location to take pictures of Punakha Dzong. Meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss”, our first view of Punakha Dzong was breathtaking! It is such a beautiful architectural masterpiece!
Impressive Majestic Structure
From the moment you walk through the impressive covered bridge and approach the entrance, you will be immediately impressed by the sheer size of this majestic structure. At the foot of the stairs, you will stop and look straight up at where you need to climb to reach the top. You will start with a series of stone steps (which are no problem) and then about halfway up it will transition to what I call “Bhutanese Stairs”. They resemble wooden stairs but in reality, they function more like a ladder – extremely steep! It’s not a problem but you do have to be careful when factoring in there are several other people walking up and down the stairs at the same time.
Once we reached the top, our guide Tashi showed us a few significant artwork paintings and then we walked out into the large open courtyard area. The grand size and scale of the courtyard were impressive. Around the perimeter were ground-level and second-story walkways that surrounded the courtyard, with a large Bodhi tree located in the center.
What really made this area special was all of the amazing colorfully painted, Bhutanese-styled woodworking on all of the exterior surfaces (see photos below). Even though this unique Bhutanese style can be found in Dzongs and structures throughout the country – seeing this for the first time was simply breathtaking!
The scale of the architecture is impressive (especially vertically) while walking around, many of the structure features tower over you like a giant.
We would continue walking through several more areas including a smaller courtyard area. We took a lot of pictures, mostly covering the impressive woodworking and painted artwork. Unfortunately, it started getting late in the afternoon and we had to wrap up our visit here.
We really enjoyed visiting Punakha Dzong and can now understand why it is referred to as the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. It’s quite the architectural beauty!