Location: Between Punakha and Trongsa
Distance from Thimphu: 70 km (3 hrs)
Elevation: 800 to 5800 meters
Wangdiphodrang is half an hour away from Punakha. Buffeted by afternoon winds, Wangdi is an important stop on the road east. Perched on a precipitous cliff above the Dang Chhu, the Wangdiphodrang Dzong stands majestically on a strategic position.
Legend has it that Wangdi was once a desert, hence the cacti grown in profusion. But some believe the cacti were planted with a reason to discourage the invaders to climb the steep slope. The Phobji Gewog in the dzongkhag is famous as the winter nesting place of the black-necked cranes. The Jigme Dorji National Park extends into the northern part while a major portion of the dzongkhag falls under Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.
1. Wangdiphodrang Dzong
Located on a strategic position, the Wangdiphodrang Dzong was built by the Shabdrung in 1638. The impressive Dzong houses the provincial monastic community and can be visited with a special permit.
2. Wangduephodrang Tsechu festival
During the Tshechu and other times the tourists are allowed in the courtyard.
3. Phobjikha Valley (3,000m, 10,000ft)
It is located in the Black Mountains, the highest of Bhutan’s north south ridges. It is a 2 ½ hour (47 km) drive from Wangdiphodrang proper on a spectacular route. Besides the stunning landscape, the Phobjikha Valley is known for the rare Black-necked Cranes which inhabit the area from November to April. There is also the Black-Necked Crane festival in November every year.
4. Gantey Gompa
It is a Nyingmapa monastery built on a small knoll, by Pema Thrinley, grandson of Pema Lingpa, the great Bhutanese saint of Bumthang, in the late 16th century. Known for its lovely paintings and statues, it is ringed with family houses of the gomchen, the religious laymen who worship the work at the monastery. It is not open for tourists, but one can visit it with a special permit.
1. Gantey Trek..see Trekking in Bhutan
2. Bamboo Products in Sephu (at Nika Chhu bridge)