Western Bhutan is the heartland of the Drukpa people, and here you are confronted with the largest, oldest and the spectacular dzongs in the kingdom. It is comprised of the Haa Valley at 8860ft. There are three major river systems in western Bhutan: The Torsa Chhu in the south-west, the Wang Chhu in the west and the Puna Tsang Chhu to the east. The rugged Black Mountain range forms a barrier that separates western bhutan from the rest of the country. Western Bhutan is known for its stunning scenery with rice paddies and orchards cascading down magnificent mountains, the pristine rivers that flow through the main towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, and unique two-story houses with brightly painted window designs.
The history of western Bhutan is reflected in the history of Bhutan as a whole. Punakha was the capital of a unified Bhutan from the 17th to the 19th century. The seat of government was later moved to Paro, which became the commercial, cultural and political centre of the country.