From fortresses to fertility temples
Cross the Po Chhu – the Father River – on Bhutan’s most impressive, prayer-flag bedecked suspension bridge to visit the beautiful 17th-century Punakha Dzong – built in the 1600s to an architectural plan inspired by a dream. Other local historic sites include the 15th-century ‘fertility temple’, Chimi Lhakhang. The valley’s subtropical environment allows the cultivation of rice and exotic fruits, making it an apt setting for this auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499. Many couples hoping to start a family come here to receive a blessing from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom’.
Raft the twin rivers
Literally translating as ‘Male’ and Female’, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers flow through rocky gorges, pristine plains and terraced fields to meet at Punakha Dzong. Amankora can arrange white-water rafting excursions on both, rewarding adventurers with challenging rapids and unforgettable valleys views. By land, the rivers can also be enjoyed with a cycling or mountain biking adventure that follows the rivers’ courses.
Breakfast at Khamsum Chorten
Start the day with a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a stunning monument built by the Bhutanese Queen Mother and consecrated in 1999. The hiking trail from Amankora Punakha weaves through rice fields and farmland before arriving at the historic stupa, built to protect Bhutan from evil forces and help bring peace to the world. On arrival, enjoy a delicious picnic breakfast set up in the fragrant gardens that surround Khamsum Chorten.