The Dzong at Punakha
Because the dzong is so beautiful and the setting so
peaceful, this was my favorite place in all of Bhutan.
The second oldest dzong in Bhutan, it was begun in 1637 also on the order
of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The dzong was significantly expanded
from 1744-1763 during the reign of the 13th desi (the secular
ruler, as opposed to the Je Khenpo, who is the chief abbot of
Bhutan, and who holds equal power), Sherab Wangchuk. The dzong has
suffered numerous fires and was significantly damaged by the 1897
earthquake. The current king has ordered all repairs to be done using
traditional methods and materials.
Photo taken: April 6, 2003
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