Punakha Dzong

Its proper name is Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, which means the Palace of Great Happiness. The Dzong is located on the confluence of Phochu and Mochu rivers and was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637-38 near Dzongchung or the little Dzong, built in 1328 by Ngagi Rinchen (which can be still seen opposite the main Dzong). The Dzong was damaged by flood, earth quake and several times by fire and was rebuilt each time to its original grandeur. The Dzong houses the most sacred relics of the Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the mummified remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who passed away here in 1651. In 1907 (on 17 Dec) Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Ugyen Wangchuck as the first King of Bhutan. It is the district administrative center of Punakha Dzongkhag and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monastic Body led by HH the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot).