Like almost every town in Bhutan, Punakha sits at the bottom of a river valley, in this case at the confluence of the Mo Chhu River, which rises near the border with Tibet, and the Pho Chhu River.
The most significant building in Punakha is Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang, the Palace of Great Happiness, which houses a monastery as well as the sacred relics of a Tibetan Buddhist lama and a saint. The Bhutanese have nominated this dzong for inclusion on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, though its recognition as such is currently only tentative.
Inside the monastery you will find finely carved wooden balconies and columns, white washed stupas, and a chapel dedicated to the queen of the snakes. There are a huge number of important religious images on display and in the dzong’s archives, many of which depict scenes from the life of the Buddha.