To the south
of Punakha lies Wangdiphodrang Dzong at an elevation of 1300m.
It is the last town on the highway before entering central
Bhutan. This Dzong built during the 17th century played a
critical role in unifying the western, central and southern
Bhutanese districts. Further up is Gangtey Gompa, an old monastery
dating from the 16th century. It is in fact the only monastery
which follows the Pelling Nyingmapa sect of school. This valley
of Phobjikha is also a home of the rare Black Necked Crane,
an endangered species which migrate from the Tibetan plateau
in winter. There are about 450-500 cranes residing in Bhutan
out of which 250-300 live in this beautiful valley.