Punakha was the capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Punakha Dzong has a very special significance in the history of Bhutan. It is this Dzong that witness several wars fought between Tibetan and Bhutan forces. It is in this dzong that the most sacred relic of Bhutan houses. And, it is in this dzong that the great Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel spent most of his time.
Punakha is about 72 kms away from Thimphu and it takes about 3 hours by car from the capital, Thimphu. Unlike Thimphu, it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. It is located at an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level and rice is grown as the main crop along the river valleys of two main rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chu and Mo Chu.
Dzongkha language is widely spoken in this district.