Paro is a charming little town in the valley of Paro river and home to the only airport of Bhutan. Its most remarkable feature is the imposing Dzong, which towers over the village with its massive walls, visible from far away.
Paro is home to many cultural highlights of the country. The jewel of them all is Taktsang monastery. An excursion to there is one of the highlights of a visit to Bhutan and not to be missed! It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months.
Rinpung Dzong, the ‘Fortress of the Heap of Jewels’, was built in 1646 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. Apart from commanding a slightly elevated strategic point overlooking the longest stretch of the Paro valley, Rinpung Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular centre of all affairs in the valley. It now houses the district administration offices and Paro’s monastic community. It is also an architectural wonder, setting the tone for official dzongs throughout the Kingdom and inviting the visitor to wonder at the cultural strength of the Kingdom’s heritage.
Ta Dzong was built in 1651 as a watchtower to protect Rinpung Dzong, and since 1968 is home to the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artefacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection.
Further up the valley you will find Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, its towering outer walls are still an imposing sight. From here on a clear day you will have a splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari.
Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. It was built by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century.
Paro treks and tours
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