The place is deeply associated with rich history. It served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It has a temperate climate and its rich fertile valley is fed by the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. Rafting on the Punakha Mochu River provides tourist a unique opportunity to enjoy the valley from a different perspective.Besides its temples and monasteries, Punakha is also famous for its hot spring and gentle terraces. The part of Jigme Dorji National Park falls under the boundaries of Punakha.
Punakha Dzong is a fortress that was built by Zhabrung Ngawang Namgy in 1637-38. The Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) spends his winters here. It is one of Bhutan's most attractive landmarks and has survived 6 fires, 2 glacial lake outbursts, and 1 massive earthquake. It was built at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Pho Chhu, which is considered an auspicious location.
Khamsum Yulley Temple:
Built by the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, this Chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture. It was built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scriptures.
It is the seat of the successive reincarnation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, beautifully resting on the hilltop. The place has a warm energy with few hermiage spread around. These hermits or the Yogis takes retreat for years, closed with the outside world.
Chimi Lhakhang, which stands on a small hillock is a temple built by Lama Drukpa Kunley. Legend has it he subdued the demoness of the Dochu La with his "Magic Thunderbolt of Wisdom."A wood effigy of the lama's thunderbolt is preserved in the Lhakhang, and childless women go to the temple to receive a Wang (blessing) from the saint.
Shenchen Lhendrup Nunnery :
Perched on a mountain top , the structure is one of the finest example of Bhutan’s convention and architect.The lhakhang comprises a double storied temple housing a beautiful statue , a chorten resembling Nepal’s boudhanath stupa and a nunnery complex.
The place is quite and susceptible to meditate for half an hour or so. From this place you can get a grand view of Punakha & Wangdue Valley
It is located on top of the hill and away from hustle bustle of town. To reach the monaster you need to take a picturesque day hike to through beautiful valleys and sacred temples. The hike begins in the valley of Yebisa, crossing the suspension bridge that leads up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten high up on the hill. We can see many different species of trees and plants as we proceed along the path including rhododendrons, fern and bamboo. When we reach the Chag Nyi pass we stop for lunch with views of Yebisa and Kabesa valleys below. We continue to walk towards Soela Gompa. To reach the Goenpa ,it requires 6 hours of hike.
There is also a dirt road that leads to the monastery and takes about 2 hours.
The 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which gives you spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.The bridge connects the Dzong to the other side of Pho Chhu Valley
Rinchengang is a small clustered village located opposite to Wangduephodrang Dzong and is famous for its proficiency in traditional means of stone stonework. It is about 20 minutes’ walk uphill with great sight of the Dzong, valley and the river.
Lamperi Botanical Garden:
It is a breath taking 125 acres botanical garden with 46 species of rhododendrond flower. You can choose to boating here.The best time to visit this place will be between April and June.
The park also has trekking routes,walk around the baritsho lake,tree house and camping space for visitors.
The annual rhododendron festival is held here.