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While guides checked their charges in with immigration, we took the opportunity to photograph the smiling schoolchildren crossing the bridge on their way home from school.  Welcome to Punakha


Wangdi Phodrang Dzong
Wangdi Dzong sits on a strategic ridge above the town with the same name.  The dzong controlled the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana, and Thimpu making  its ruler the third most powerful in the country.   The slopes up to the Dzong were planted with cacti to deter invaders from creeping up on the fort
In preparation for visiting the Dzong Bhim dons his kabney.  An addition to the national dress required when visiting a dzong, a major temple or in the presence of a high ranking official.  Male commoners wear a white shawl  from left shoulder to opposite hip.  It is intricately tied and although we were shown how to do it several times it remained a mystery.  Elected officials, government ministers, cabinet members, and the King, each wear their own coloured kabney.  Women wear a rachu, a narrow embroidered scarf draped over their left shoulder to visit Dzongs etc

Wangdi was built in the seventeenth century as were most of the others we saw but because it hasn't suffered major destruction since a fire in 1837 and an earthquake in 1897 it has not been recently rebuit

I really enjoyed visiting this dzong, there  were so many things to catch the eye, these decorated panels, this little courtyard  and a rooster who took his guard duties very seriously
I really enjoyed our visit to Wangdi  its history is felt more keenly than at others we visited and I notice a fire extinguisher on hand in the courtyard above

But my favourite thing about Wangdi was the presence of dozens of young novices.   Appropriate in a Dzong named for Wangdi  a little boy found making sand castles by the river below the site chosen for the new dzong

Love the body language

A monk in a nearby building was swinging what looked like a cat o' nine tails to summon the novices.  I thought they were late for prayers but apparently it was supper they were scampering to.  They converged on a building and emerged a short time later clutching bundles of rice.  Within minutes they had disappeared. 
After dinner comes the chores, the same the world over

Drying and posing for photos many hands making light hearted work? 

2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 3 of 5| Page Down | Page Up