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Punakha Dzong, also known as “the Palace of Great Happiness”, is the second oldest and second largest dzong - a distinctive type of fortress architecture of Tibetan Buddhism exclusively found in Bhutan and Tibet- in all of Bhutan. Located between Pho Chhu (Male River) and Mo Chhu (Female River), Punakha Dzong preserves the śarīra (Buddhist relics) of many red robe lamas of high spiritual authority. It is venerated as a sacred site of Bhutanese. Punakha Dzong, where the first national assembly was held in 1953, used to be the capital of the country. It has a superior position in the hearts of people in Bhutan.
This famous dzong is also the wedding venue of the present King of Bhutan - King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. The happy couple received blessings from their people in the Palace of Great Happiness. In late February every year, cultural festivals are held in the courtyard of the dzong, where lamas attired in glamorous garments perform mask dances to bless the people. Not only is the festival a paradise for photography lovers, but also an excellent chance for travellers to learn more about the traditions of Bhutan!
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