Thursday Thoughts – Beyond Beauty

In the fertile Punakha Valley, where the Mo Chhu (Mother river) and the Pho Chhu (Father river) meet, lies Punakha Dzong – Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). It was constructed in 1637 and maybe the most impressive building in Bhutan – also considered the most beautiful dzong in the country.

Bhutan 2018 663

The very size of Punakha Dzong is impressive, 180m long and 72m wide, but the elaborately painted gold, red and black carved woods, the brass roof and the location adds to the light perfection.

Punakha served as Bhutan’s capital for over 300 years and the first king was crowned here in 1907. Since the mid 1950’s, Thimpu is the capital, but Punakha is still the center for official meetings, the kings’ weddings and other important ceremonies.

The dzong, like all the other dzongs in Bhutan, has suffered fires several times, but is always restored. Due to its location by the two rivers, it is also vulnerable to the floods following climate change. In 1994 a glacial lake burst and destroyed parts of the building, and before that, in 1897, there was also a severe earthquake.

The temple is grand and holds thrones for the King as well as for the high Lama.

There are 300 monks in the dzong, and our guide told us that today the monastery schools are almost like ordinary schools – you take different subjects like science and mathematics along with languages and the scriptures.

The young monks are very curious and good at English.

The junction of the two rivers, seen from inside the dzong.

And so we left this magnificent fortress – without using the middle, golden steps, made for the King only. A breathtaking visit – only there was so much more we wanted to see, hear and learn – but maybe next time…

 

21 reaktioner på ”Thursday Thoughts – Beyond Beauty

  1. Pingback: Thursday Thoughts – The End of the Journey | Leya

  2. Dine bilder er helt utrolige. Og de vekker lysten til å besøke Bhutan mer enn noensinne. Disse bygninger overgår den villeste fantasien. Veldig tibetansk buddhistisk, men likevel noe utenom det vanlige.

    • Ja – Otto, detta land är det mest fantastiska jag har besökt. Och det är inte minst människorna och den stämning som vilar över allting…den stämning du försätts i när du är där. Man vill aldrig att den ska försvinna ur ditt liv. Alltigenom god, vänlig, förlåtande, varm och mänsklig. Barnens öppna ansikten och deras skratt. Alla delar med sig av allt de har – av hjärtat. Jag har redan börjat tänka på nästa resa dit…den bara måste bli av. Känslan av finaste mänsklighet, på djupet, ärligt. Det går inte att beskriva. Du måste åka!

Halva verket är läsarens - så, vad säger Du? As the second half is the reader's - I'd love to have Your line!

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