The Punakha Dzong creates a sense of antiquity and sacredness. Built in 1637, it is the second oldest dzong in Bhutan and is contained by the Mo Chu and Pho Chu rivers. At one point, it served as the capital and seat of the government and now is the winter residence of the official monk body that oversees the state of religion in the country. It is also the place where all of the kings of Bhutan have been crowned and is where the royal wedding occurred in 2011.
One of the most interesting facts and why it likely creates such an overwhelming sense of sacredness is because it is where the remains of Pema Lingpa, and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal are preserved. Only his majesty the King, the Je Khenpo (senior religious hierarch) and two guardian lamas may enter the room where the bodies are preserved. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the “unifier” of Bhutan and Pema Lingpa is a Bhutanese saint that the current Royal House of Wangchuck claims direct descent from.
The history and lineage of the structure and what is encompassed within its walls as well as the existence of the past, present and future souls on this hallowed ground create a deep sense of wonder and admiration.