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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Punaka Dzong | Bhutan

The Punaka Dzong was known in antiquity as Pungtag Dechen Photrang Dozong, means "The Palace of great happiness or bliss". Punakha was built in 1637. this is the second oldest and second largest dzong built in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong was administrative center and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan, but it was moved to Thimphu. Dzong is located at 1,200 meters above sea level in the valley, between the two major rivers of Bhutan — Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Punakha is built on a hilly promontory. After the confluence of theses tow rivers, the main river is know as Puna Tsang chu or Sankosh River. Punakha is the winter capital of Bhutan, The head of the clergy of Bhutan with his entourage of monks spend the winter in this dzong. Stronghold over the river rises to a height of 10-storey building, and extends in length by 300 meters. The construction looks like a big ship.

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Gelay Jamtsho

A dzong is the Bhutanese name for a building which in other countries would be called a castle or a fortress. They were built as a means to govern and protect a region and each was the residence of th regional governor. A dzong is usually divided into two parts — a secular administrative section and a religious monastic section. Most of Bhutan's dzong were severely damaged in the 1897, cause of earthquake and were repaired and rebuilt in there original layout. Many have also suffered disastrous fires caused by the use of butter lamps in temples. Traditionally dzongs are built with no architectural plans or drawings; the builders rely on the mental image of what is requited. They are also said to constructed using no nails.  The dzong and the surrounding area suffered severe damge in 1994 also when a glacial lake fare up in the Pho Chhu valley burst sending a flash flood downstream. The access bridge was crushed and the flood water was reached to the top of the entry stairs and into the courtyard.  Punaka Dzong is perhaps the most beautiful in the country, touched by the peace and serenity of the place, a truly memorable experience.

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Ross Mackenzie

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Joe Wallace

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit DrukAsia Bhutan

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit iphotofan

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Andrew Walker

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit John S Y Lee

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Louis Cutrona

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Karl O'Neill

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Image credit superkimbo

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Louis Cutrona

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Louis Cutrona

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit Jeff Henry

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit John S Y Lee

The Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang
Image credit John S Y Lee

Source — Pbase | Wikipedia

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