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Wangdue Phodrang district is located in the central part of Bhutan. The district boasts a wealth of cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, named the district “Wangdue Phodrang” after carefully selecting the ideal location to build a dzong to protect against southern invasions.

Ngawang Namgyal named the location “Wangdue Phodrang” while searching for the perfect spot to build a dzong to defend against invasions from the south. He named the dzong “Wangdi’s Palace” after encountering a boy named Wangdi playing beside the river.

There are three paved roads in Wangdue. The Lateral Road enters from the west at Dochu Pass, and crosses the Sankosh River (Dzongkha: Puna Tsang Chhu) at Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, and continues east to Trongsa. One spur road heads north from Wangdue to Punakha Dzong and slightly beyond. This becomes the footpath to Gasa.

From the Lateral Road near Pele Pass, the second spur branches off and heads south for a brief distance to reach Gangteng Monastery and the Phobjikha Valley, where visitors can potentially spot rare black-necked cranes.

Attractions in Wangdue Phodrang

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is a fortress located in the district and is a popular tourist attraction. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan, constructed the dzong in 1638. He designed it to defend against invasions from the south and to function as a religious and administrative center.

  • Gangteng Monastery: Gangteng Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in the Phobjikha Valley. The black-necked crane, a rare bird that the Bhutanese revere, associates with the monastery. The monastery also boasts traditional Bhutanese architecture and stunning artwork.
  • Phobjikha Valley: The Phobjikha Valley boasts stunning landscapes and traditional Bhutanese villages, and it’s famous for its black-necked crane population, a revered and rare bird in Bhutan.

Wangdue district is a great destination for those interested in Bhutanese culture and history. With its ancient dzongs, beautiful monasteries, and picturesque landscapes, the district offers something for everyone. Visitors can explore the district’s rich cultural heritage, enjoy its natural beauty, and spot the rare black-necked crane.

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