Bhutan (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཡུལ་; Wylie transliteration: ʼbrug-yul "Druk Yul"), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by the Republic of India. Further west, it is separated from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim, while further south it is separated from Bangladesh by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutan's capital and largest city is Thimphu.
Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms until the early 17th century, when the lama and military leader Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, fleeing religious persecution in Tibet, unified the area and cultivated a distinct Bhutanese identity. Later, in the early 20th century, Bhutan came into contact with the British Empire and retained strong bilateral relations with India upon its independence. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world.
The Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong (meaning “the palace of great happiness or bliss”) is the administrative centre of Punakha dzongkhag in Punakha, Bhutan. Constructed by Zhabdrung (Shabdrung) Ngawang Namgyal in 1637–38, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures. The Dzong houses the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu school including the Rangjung Kasarpani, and the sacred remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa. Punakha Dzong was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.
Dzong architecture (from Tibetan རྫོང་, Wylie rDzong, sometimes written Jong) is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the present and former Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas: Bhutan and Tibet. The architecture is massive in style with towering exterior walls surrounding a complex of courtyards, temples, administrative offices, and monks' accommodation.
Punakha District (Dzongkha: སྤུ་ན་ཁ་རྫོང་ཁག་; Wylie: Spu-na-kha rdzong-khag) is one of the 20 dzongkhags (districts) comprising Bhutan. It is bordered by Thimphu, Gasa, and Wangdue Phodrang Districts. The dominant language in the district is Dzongkha, the national language.