Paro is a perfect entry point to this land— the land of fairytales, willow trees, and the land of many roads. The contrasting bright green of the rice terraces in summer, and the brilliant white of the Dzong and the temples give the valley a fresh and pleasant atmosphere.
The country’s first and the only International airport is located here. The iconic Taktsang Monastery (Tiger Nest) is also located in Paro along with Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples of Bhutan. The town center, built-in 1985 is aligned along a wide street about 500m long and runs parallel to the Pa Chhu (Paro River).
The small size of the place is surprising considering the role that Punakha played in the history of the kingdom. It was the country’s winter capital for 300 years and the fertile Punakha valley allows two rice crops a year. Oranges and bananas are also grown in abundance. Punakha Dzong Punakha Dzong also known as Punthang Dewachenpoi Phodrang meaning “the palace of great bliss”, was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637. The most beautiful Punakha Dzong covers the island at the confluence of the 2-rivers, resembles a gigantic ship in between Mo chhu(Female River) and Pho chhu(Male River)
The capital of the kingdom of Bhutan is now home to almost 200,000 people. The capital is a growing commercial center with a modern pace of development that appears contrary to the otherwise beautiful, natural, quiet Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The 1980s brought a real-estate boom fueled by private and government initiatives, unlike many modern cities, by royal degree Thimphu has kept a strong national character in its architecture. Street names are a recent innovation. Thimphu is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.
Also known as “the hidden land of rice valley”, was the ancient center of trade with Yatung in the Chumbi valley in Tibet. The new Dzong was built in 1951 near the older one which was destroyed by fire. The valley of Haa has been the stronghold of the Dorji family to which Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother belongs. Haa valley was opened to foreign tourism in the year 2002.
Gasa is well known for its natural hot spring (tsachu), which are found at several locations with different contains of medicinal values. Gasa lies in the northwest of the country and the main gateway for Layaps and Lunaps, who mostly depend their life by raising yaks. The other income generated by highlanders of Layaps and lunaps are from collecting Cordyceps Sinesis.
Since it is located on an exposed promontory overlooking the river, Wangduephodrang is a bit windy compared to Punakha. The naming of the place happened during the visit by Zhabdrung. When he arrived at the river and saw a little boy building a sandcastle. He asked the boy’s name, which he learned was Wangdue. Zhabdrung then decided to name the Dzong as Wangdue Phodrang, or “Wangdue’s palace”.