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Since it is located on an exposed promontory overlooking the river, Wangduephodrang is bit windy compared to Punakha. The naming of the place happened during the visit by Zhabdrung. When he arrived at the river and saw a little boy building a sandcastle. He asked the boy’s name, which he learnt was Wangdue. Zhabdrung then decided to name the Dzong as Wangdue Phodrang, or “Wangdue’s palace”.
The Wangdue Dzong, which is perched on a spur, is the highlight of the town and the position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commends an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west highway. The Dzong was built in 1638 by Zhabdrung. Today it is under restoration after the tragic fire engulfed it in 2011.
It’s about two hours’ drive from Wangduephodrang to the starting point of your hike. It then will take almost two hours to hike up to the holy site situated on a cliff in Kazhi. The site is said to be blessed by Guru Rinpoche/Guru Padmasambhava during 8thcentury.
Phobjikha valley is one of the most beautiful spots in the country, the glacier of the pre-geographic era had played a vital role in shaping and beautifying the whole valley. Thus, Phobjikha is a hotspot for all tourists coming to Bhutan and a winter home for popular endangered Black Necked Cranes(Grus nigricollis).
More than 451-year-old Gangte Goenpa, the jewel of the region with its distinctive yellow roof, is nested upon a small hill overlooking the large green expanse of the Phobjikha valley. It is the most important seat of Pedling (Pema Lingpa) tradition of Buddhism in Western Bhutan. The monastery which was founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinley, the grandson of Terton Pema Lingpa, is undergoing a major renovation. While the original structure and unique design of the monastery will be preserved, most of the woodwork, which have deteriorated over the centuries will be replaced.