Best Things To Do In Punakha For The Most Blissful Holiday Experience.
Take snaps of the Punakha Dzong
The Punakha Dzong was built in the 1637 and holds high value in the life of the royal family of Bhutan. Located right at the confluence of the Mo and Pho Chhu, the palace of great happiness, as it is called, is the most picturesque of all of dzongs in Bhutan, which are palace like administrative centres built in a unique style of Bhutanese architecture. While there are plenty of places to see around the Punakha Dzong, one of the essential things to do in Punakha, Bhutan is to get a picture perfect shot of the Dzong itself. There are three established photo points around the palace for this.
Hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
The temple of the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten was commissioned by the Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. The temple was designed based on Buddhist scriptures and was built to bring peace and prosperity to the Kingdom as well as the world. However, it is the trek to the temple that invites a lot of people to the place. The trek takes about an hour and is one of the best Punakha things to do. Be sure to go to the top of the temple for the best views of the entire valley.
Walk to Chimi Lhakhang Temple
One of the most unusual things to do in Punakha is to visit the Chimi Lhakhang Temple that is the abode of Drukpa Kunley who advocated the use of phallic imagery as a way to ward off the evil spirits. The temple is filled with phallic images inside and outside on the walls, so if you have a taste for the bizarre and fascinating, this tradition represents a great shot for your photo-trip. Getting to the temple again is a journey in itself, and you have a hike through 15 minutes of paddy fields set against the low mountains of the valley before you get to the hill at the top of which the temple is located.
Cross the Punakha Suspension Bridge
Suspension bridges are actually a common sight over the hilly terrain and quick rivers of the valleys in Bhutan. There is no record for how old the Punakha suspension bridge is, but it certainly is high. Built high above the swift Pho Chhu, you will encounter the Punakha Suspension Bridge if you elect not to hike to the Chimi Lakhang Temple. It is one of the longest suspension bridges in all of Bhutan, about 160-180 metres long, and crossing it is one of the best things to do in Punakha if you are looking for an adrenaline high on your Bhutan trip.
White Water Rafting in Punakha
One of the recently trending things to do in Punakha and certainly one of its hidden gems, white water rafting on the Mo and Pho Chhu river as it enters the Devil’s Gorge has become a popular attraction for thrill seekers. Rafting in the Brahmaputra or its tributaries has always been attractive for extreme sports fanatics, and the choppy rapids of the Mo Chhu provides about 10 kilometres of 10 rapids that are at 2-2+. On the other hand, the Pho Chhu river has a much tougher course of 15 rapids sprinkled over 12 kilometres, ranging in difficulty level between 2 and 4.