Until 1955, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and today it remains the winter seat of the central monastic body. It has an altitude of 1,220, whereas the highest point in the rest of the country is over 7500 meters high. Therefore, it has the most mild climate in all of the country. At the junction of the two rivers, Pho Chhu (male river) and y Mo Chhu (female river) stood in a sort of picnic where the view of the castle, the dzong-on whitewater descending from the Himlayas is impressive and both serene. Bhutan's bridges are one of its most iconic images, and the most popular is probably the Punakha bridge. A flood in 1958 took the bridge that had been built while the dzong in the seventeenth century. Because Switzerland was a great international cooperator, which is actually a country that is similar to Bhutan because of its terrain and rough surface, in 2006, undertook the reconstruction of the bridge, which went from 35 meters to 55 in length because of the flood, but retains the same look as the old one, a pedestrian bridge and cantilever-type cattle, that now hides under some strong steel cables. In May 2008, the new bridge became open, and this was just a few months before the coronation of the Fifth Druk Gyalpo on Punakha Dzong itself. Very interesting, isn't it?
To the east of the province of Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan, lies the Wangduephodrang. Its dzong, built in the 17th century at the confluence of two rivers, overlooks a beautiful valley with rice paddies. Even though we thought we'd miss the Tshechu festivals due to the dates we chose to travel, thanks to the good work of our guide Tashi we could at least see a dress rehearsal of the Wangdue Tshechu, less frequented by tourists than the one in the capital, Thimphu.