Punakha or Punaka (both: pŏnŭˈkə) [key], town (1997 est. pop. 1,000), traditional capital of Bhutan, NW Bhutan. Founded in 1577, it is a fortress town with an important Buddhist monastery. It is connected by road with Gangtok in Sikkim, India to the west and with the Indian border to the south. Thimphu is the present administrative seat.