Inextricably linked to Bhutan’s glorious past is its erstwhile capital, Punakha. Here, at the confluence of two of Bhutan’s rivers – Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, stands the Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang, also known as the Palace of Great Happiness. It is arguably one of the most beautiful dzongs in all of Bhutan. The first king of the kingdom was coronated at this august venue where the reigning monarch wed in the more recent past.
The winter residence of the central monk body and only a few hours away from some of Bhutan’s most popular tourist attractions, such as the hot springs, Guru Rinpoche caves and the Fertility Temple, Punakha is a birder’s haven. Rare and endangered species of birds like the white-bellied heron among others have been known to frequent this region.