The town of Punakha, which served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 when the seat of government moved to Thimphu is dominated by the towering walls of Punakha Dzong. Extensive renovation work was undertaken on Punakha Dzong as recently as the 1990s after extensive flooding in the valley, and the dzong is now a breathtaking and glorious sight as you first glimpse it from the road. Although four catastrophic fires and an earthquake in past times (as well as the flooding!) destroyed many historic documents, Punakha Dzong still houses many sacred and historic artifacts. In Springtime (below left) the dzong is particularly pretty when the jacaranda trees are in bloom.
The 5 day Punakha Festival, or domchoe (below right) is held in the Spring; it is one of Bhutan's most colourful festivals and features a dramatic recreation of a 17th century battle scene.