<< A Stroll Before Rafting

01/21/19 - Punakha and Its Fortress

Punakha is the garden of Bhutan with fruits and vegetables grown year round. Farm stands in the outskirts of the city sold spinach, apples, oranges and other vegetables even in January. Bhutan is in the Himalayas, but it is also far south at 27N. The big agricultural product is rice, especially their wonderful local red rice. The land is terraced and irrigated, and vegetables are often grown under plastic tents in the colder months.

We visited the 17th century dzong, once a fortress, but now a temple. We couldn’t take photographs inside where Buddha presided and murals told stories of his life and enlightenment and those of other great teachers. There is a major winter festival next month, and we watched young monks practicing one of the dances. The teacher was clearly the master of the art. He moved with great grace and control. Some of the young monks had developed some skill while others were new to the dance. We didn’t feel right taking pictures. We’re sure they will give an excellent performance come the big day.

View of the mountains from Amankora

Another view from Amankora

The infinity pool and agricultural land

The great Dzong of Punakha

Almost a Tuscan villa

Terraced rice fields

Indian cotton silk (or perhaps silk cotton) tree flowers

The river

The entrance to the Dzong

In the courtyard

One of the many murals

The bodhi tree in the dzong

Another view of the courtyard

Bhutanese architecture

Another view

Monks in red robes in the courtyard

The river below

Mountains above

Misty late in the day

Keywords: bhutan