Towards the south of Punakha valley lies the valley of Wangdi Phodrang and the confluence of Mochu and Tangchu rivers stands the impressive Wangdi Phodrang Dzong. The higher reaches of the valley provide rich pasture land for cattle. Phubjikha in Wangdi Phodrang is the winter retreat for the rare Black Necked cranes. The district is also known for its fine bamboo work including slate and stone carvings. (* also spelt as Wangdue Phodrang)
Midway between Ha in the far west and Tashigang in the far east stands the striking Tongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal Family. Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country form this ancient seat. All four kings of Bhutan held post of Tongsa Penlop (honorary post of Governor) prior to being crowned the king. A massive structure with many levels that slopes down the contour of the hill on which it is set, the Tongsa Dzong was built in 1648 and later enlarged and decorated. Because of its highly strategic position on the only connecting route between the eastern and western sectors (the trail actually running through the dzong), the Tongsa Penlop was able to control the whole of the eastern region effectively for many centuries.