Wangdiphodrang

To the south of Punakha lies Wangdiphodrang Dzong at an elevation of 1300m. It is the last town on the highway before entering central Bhutan. This Dzong built during the 17th century played a critical role in unifying the western, central and southern Bhutanese districts. Further up is Gangtey Gompa, an old monastery dating from the 16th century. It is infact the only monastery which follows the Nyingmapa sect of school. This valley of Phobjikha is also a home of the rare Black Necked Crane, an endangered species which migrate from the Tibetan plateau in winter. There are about 450 – 500 cranes residing in Bhutan out of which 250 – 300 live in this beautiful valley.