Top 5 Must Visit Places in Paro Bhutan
Paro Valley is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries and the country’s only airport, and the National Museum. Mt. Chomolhari at 7134m is the second highest peak in Bhutan lying on the western border with Tibet. Its glacial waters flow through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro river). The Paro valley is one of the kingdom’s most fertile, producing the bulk of Bhutan’s famous red rice from its terraced fields.
Originally built as a Watch Tower built to defend Paro Dzong during inter-valley wars in the 17th Century.
Ta-Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1967 and holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious Thanka Paintings, Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps, coins and handicrafts together with a small natural history collection. The cylindrical building houses the nation’s heritage. On account of their function, watchtowers are always round in shape.
2. Paro Dzong:
The Paro Dzong locally knows as Ringung Dzong was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the township. The Paro Tsechu (festival of mask dances) takes place in the courtyard of the Dzong and on the dance ground. The unfurling of the life size sacred Thangka known as Thongdreol also happens here.
3. Drukgyel Dzong:
Only ruins of this Dzong can be seen today with a picturesque village below. It was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders and was largely destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, you can get a view of Mt. Chomolhari. It is undergoing restoration works.
4. Kyichu Lhakhang:
Built in the 7th century, it is one of the two oldest and most sacred monasteries in Bhutan, the other being Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang. Kyichu Lhakhang is composed of twin temples. The first temple was built by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. In 1968, Her Majesty, Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, the Queen Mother of Bhutan, arranged for a second temple to be built alongside the first one, in same style.
5. Paro Taktshang
Taktsang Lhakhang is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. This temple is one of the most holy sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. It was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have traveled to meditate in it. Taktsang Lhakhang is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3.120 meters. In order to arrive at the temple visitors must trek for around 2-3 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.