Being second oldest and second largest and gorgeous Dzong in Bhutan, it is called Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness) by some. Punakha is a 3 hour drive from the capital of Bhutan and is blessed with a temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the Punakha valley yields abundant crops and fruits. Punakha Dzong was the administrative center and capital of Bhutan until 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. There are splendid views of the distant Himalayas at Dochula pass (ALT. 3,050m) on Thimphu – Punakha road. Punakha Dzong, 170 meters long and 72 meters wide is a massive and an impressive structure with elaborately painted in gold, red and black impressed woods add to the artistic lightness of touch. The Dzong contains many precious ruins from the days when successive kings reined the kingdom from this valley.