Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge | Punakha

Suspension bridges are ideal for Bhutan’s high mountains and deep valleys. Punakha Suspension Bridge is a wonderful illustration of this, for the decoration of colourful prayer flags. This is one of Bhutan’s longest suspension bridges. It connects Punakha Dzong to Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha villages across the Po Chu river. It is, nevertheless, astonishingly stable for a 520-foot-long suspension bridge. The east side of the river is an excellent starting place for multi-day hikes in the surrounding mountains. Also, the bridge provides a beautiful view of the river and valley.

Punakha Suspension bridge in Bhutan
Punakha Suspension bridge in Bhutan

How to get there?

Punakha Bridge is a short walk from Punakha Dzong, but because it is not on the main highway, peope overlook this place. Follow the Puna Tsang Chu River north from the Dzong, through the crematorium, either by country roads on the west bank or the Trashigang-Semtokha Highway. If you are in Punakha campsite which is a mile from Punakha Dzong, cross the bridge.

The Suspension Bridge

The bridge in front of Punakha Dzong is an excellent example of this. The bridge at Punakha, unlike the others, takes the suport of cables anchored to enormous concrete slabs on the banks. The bridge’s cantilever has some inherent elasticity that causes it to sway in high gusts, although not as much as you might anticipate. This is owing to the bridge’s stabilising cables, which taper out at both ends. The deck is constructed of solid wood planks that are nested within the bridge structure.

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PunaTsangChu river
PunaTsangChu river

Village on the other side of the bridge

Visit the lovely village on the opposite side of the bridge. The bridge connects Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha villages to the Wangchuk Kings’ fortress. Apart from an exciting trek across the bridge, the bridge connects Punakha town to numerous holy and important locations worth visiting. The best thing to do here is cross the bridge, visit the local shop and have the local tea. You get to hear the prayers, drum beats etc from upstairs and lot many people chanting mantra. Enjoy the scenic view, have a cup of tea with the chanting mantra as your background music and then go around the prayer wheel. You can continue to explore the village further or go back to cross the bridge and visit the Punakha Dzong.

Also read: Punakha Dzong | Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

Village on the other side of Suspension Bridge
Village on the other side of Suspension Bridge

Best Time To Visit Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. Visit Punakha in the months of February to April and October to December. It’s best to stay away from this valley during the wet seasons, as flash floods are prevalent. Every year, the Tsechu festival takes place in late February or early March, giving it the perfect opportunity to appreciate Bhutan’s spring weather and culture. The spring season, with a mean temperature of 18°C, ushers in stunning purple jacaranda blooming sceneries all down the valley.

Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge Suspension Bridge
Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge Suspension Bridge

To conclude, the place is unique with the walk along the longest bridge. The view of mountains in front and the traditional tea on the other side of the bridge makes this place interesting. In addition to these photos, watch the video below for more photos and to get a feel of the place in and around Punakha Suspension Bridge. Also, consider SUBSCRIBING to my YouTube channel.