Photographs by courtesy of the Tourism Council of Bhutan
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Artist: Jigme Drukpa Title: ‘Ling Sho La’ from CD: ‘Endless Songs of Bhutan’
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Location: Between Punakha and Trongsa
Distance from Thimphu: 70km (2hrs)
Elevation: 1,400m (4,480ft)
Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers, the Punak Chhu and Dang Chhu. Its position is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. It is obvious that the site was selected for this view of the valley below. However legend relates another reason for choosing this spot: as people searched for a site for a Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered an auspicious sign, representing the spreading of religion to the four points of the compass.
Wangduephordang Tshechu Festival
The annual Wangduephordang Tshechu was introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the completion of the dzong. The three-day annual Tshechu is witnessed by people from Punakha and Thimphu and provides the people with an occasion to partake of entertainment and revelry. The Tshechu is known for the Raksha Mangcham or the dance of the Ox. It concludes with the unfurling of the Guru Tshengye Thongdroel where people throng to receive blessings.
Gangtey Gompa or Phobjekha
This monastery of Gangtey was established in another valley named Phobjekha. Gangtey Gompa was built in the 17th century. The village situated in this valley is also known as Phobjekha. Here the black-necked cranes come in the winter from Northern Tibet and stay here till the end of winter.
Bamboo Products in Sephu
The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhu bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores (mainly selling bamboo products) and small restaurants.
Gangtey trek, and more.