Travel to Bhutan to visit the famous Punakha Dzong fortress

Bhutan is world famous through monasteries - ancient fortresses with magnificent and magnificent architecture. Bhutan's fortresses are located in the middle of a vast natural landscape, bringing a surreal beauty, like a fairy-tale place that attracts many tourists when they come. The most famous of which is the Punakha Dzong fortress is known as the most beautiful and magnificent country.
Travel to Bhutan , do not miss visiting Punakha Dzong to discover the unique architecture of this place, feel the majesty and romance of an ancient capital, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the mountains to Feels so romantic, relaxed and peaceful.

1. About introduction of Punakha Dzong fortress

The fort - Punakha Dzong monastery was built in 1637 on the confluence of Pochhu and Mochhu rivers in the Punakha - Wangdue valley at an altitude of 1,463m. This is the only fortress of Bhutan not located on the craggy cliff terrain, so Punakha Dzong attracts many tourists to visit, becoming one of themost famous Bhuhan tourist destinations in the country. .
Punakha Dzong also known as Pungthang Dewa chhenbi Phodrang, meaning "happy palace," was once the administrative center of Bhutan until it decided to move its capital to Thimphu in 1955.
With a life span of nearly 400 years, Punakha is the oldest fortress in the country, this sacred historical site has a very important role for Bhutanese people, which witnessed many great royal events.
From a distance, Punakha Dzong is located in the middle of immense mountains as a beautiful landscape painting, captivating many visitors thanks to its unique Tibetan architectural style. The pure white walls when combined with yellow, red, black colors from wood sculpture create the beauty and impression of the fortress.
Punakha Fortress is known as the witness of the history and culture of Bhutan, which preserves many valuable Buddhist monuments and national treasures. Many tourists coming to Bhutan want to visit to see the fortress - the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan!

2. How to get to Punakha Dzong fort?

Currently, tourists planning to visit Punakha Dzong Fortress must take a flight to Paro International Airport, and then transfer to Punakha by public transport such as a car or motorbike (for those who are like to explore)
From Paro Airport, it takes about 3 hours northeast to reach Punakha Dzong. The 110km long road will pass through the beautiful capital Thimphu . Please arrange your schedule so that you can discover both Thimphu and Punakha. Choose to visit Thimphu first and then Punakha, or vice versa before visiting Punakha and explore Thimphu on the way back.
From Thimphu to Punakha Dzong only takes about 2 hours drive for 70km distance. After a 40-minute drive up the Thimphu hill, you will be delighted with the spectacular natural scenery of the Himalayas and enjoy the traditional Bhutanese-style houses along the side of the road.

3. What is special about Punakha Dzong Fort?

The most unique feature of Punakha Dzong fortress is the convergence of the architecture of the Bhutanese fortress and monastery, along with precious national treasures stored and preserved for generations. .
As the second largest fortress of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong is up to 180 meters long, 72 meters wide with many works of art with separate functional areas.
To get to the fortress, visitors will have to cross the Mochhu River on a red wooden bridge. According to the story, Punakha used to hold a strategic military position, so the defense is very important. The wooden bridge has a certain slope and can be pulled up when needed. In addition, the fortress is divided by a large and heavy wooden door, always closed carefully when night falls.
Punakha Dzong is a rare fortress with a large three-yard architecture, while most other fortresses only have two yards.
The fort's first courtyard features a giant six-story tower, an old bodhi tree in the center, numerous steles, shrines to the gods, and various temples with carved decorative window frames. This is the place where administrative agencies meet for important national affairs. Stepping into the first yard, visitors can not help being overwhelmed by the immense beauty of this place, capture every moment to have impressive check-in photos.
The second courtyard is separate from the first courtyard, and is actually a monastery when used as a place for monks to live, study and chant. You can see many monks wearing red robes going back and forth in this yard. There are two main halls in the yard, one of which is the Phodrang Palace - where the first king of Bhutan is crowned.
The third yard is the most important place of the fortress, a private meeting place for famous monks. It also preserves the "sacred mummies" of the two great tertons, Pema Lingpa and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. To the south is a large hall with 54 gilded pillars exquisitely carved. Walking through a large wooden floor, visitors will see three giant statues of Sakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgya, watching the colorful decorations on the windows and doors.  The creativity and unique charm of Buddhist culture will surely make you feel extremely impressed.
In addition, you can also enjoy the sculpture "Four Friends" extremely famous in Bhutanese culture. Elephants, monkeys, rabbits and birds have a very close relationship. Elephants will not be able to eat fruit without monkey help, monkeys will not have fruit if the birds do not eat fruit and excrete the seeds into the ground, and the tree cannot grow without rabbits protecting the roots . According to Bhutanese legend, the four animals represent the earth, the air, the earth and the sky, which is a great example of the harmony of nature, also the Bhutanese faith and way of life. from thousands of generations. 
In the history of existence, Punakha Dzong fortress has suffered many attacks from foreign invaders, as well as natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires). That is why Punakha has to undergo heat repairs and reinforcement regularly.
Today, Punakha Dzong has become one of the famous Bhutanese tourist attractions , attracting numerous tourists to visit and visit each year.

4. What to note when visiting Fort Punakha Dzong?

Visiting and exploring Punakha Dzong, tourists need to pay attention to some important points as follows:

Best time to visit Punakha Dzong

Located in the Punakha valley with low altitude, the weather around the fortress is mild, the winter is not too cold, visitors can come here at any time of the year.
However, the best time to visit Punakha Dzong fortress is in the spring from February to April, because at this time, the wisteria blooms, the purple color of the flower gives Punakha fort a romantic beauty like first sight.
In March, the famous Punakha Tshechu festival will be held right at the fortress, visitors will be immersed in the joyful atmosphere of the festival, enjoy the traditional traditional dances, watch the sets. Colorful costumes and masks.

Ticket price to visit Punakha Dzong fort

The ticket to visit the fort is 300 rupees
Opening hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm in summer (June, July, August) and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm in winter (November, December, January). In addition, the monasteries will be closed from 13:00 to 15:00 for lunch break.

Etiquette and taboo when coming to Punakha Dzong

- Regulations on dress: Bhutan is a country that respects religion, fortresses and monasteries are sacred religious places, so wear long pants and long sleeves to show respect when coming to these places.
- Tourists are only allowed to visit freely the first yard and the second yard of the fortress, the third yard usually restricts reception.
- Photos are not allowed in the third yard and visitors should take off their shoes before entering.
- Beware of the stairs and the slope at the entrance of the monastery.

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