beautiful valley which encapsulates within itself rich culture, scenic beauty
and hundreds of myths and legends is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temple and
monasteries, country’s only airport and the National Museum. Mt. Chomolhari
(7300 mtrs) resigns in white glory at the north end of the valley and its
glacial waters plunge through deep gorges to form the Paro river. Paro is also
one of the most fertile valley in the kingdom producing a bulk of the famous red
rice from its terraced fields.
Reasons to visit
Paro is a historic town with many sacred sites and
historical buildings scattered through the area. In addition, the Paro Valley is
wide and verdant and is recognized a one of the most beautiful in all Bhutan.
However, apart from the main street (which is constructed of traditional wooden
structures), the bazaar area is a nondescript hodgepodge of concrete buildings
that is totally bereft of charm and character. Along with Jakar and Punakha,
Paro forms the 'golden triangle' of popular tourist destinations.
This Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot
was built in 1614 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over
the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolion Warlord, Gushri Khan. Historically and
strategically this dzong withstood all its glory and had captured western eyes
in 1914 vide National Geographic magazine. The glory of Drukgyel Dzong remained
even it was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day one can see the commanding
view of Mt. Chomolhari from the village below the Dzong.
Also known as fortress of the heap of jewels, it was built
during the time of Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal in 1646. The approach to the dzong
is through a traditional covered bridge called the Nemi Zam. A walk through the
bridge to the dzong over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the
architectural wonder of the dzong as well as life around it. It is also venue of
the Paro Tshechu held once a year in spring.
On a ridge immediately above the Rinpung Dzong is the Ta
Dzong, built in 1951 as a watch tower. Unlike the rectangular shape of the
Dzongs, Ta Dzong is round more like parts of an European castle. Since 1967 the
dzong was re-established as the NationalMuseum and fascinating collection of
art, relics, religious thanka paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.
The origin of Kyichu Lhakhang dates back to the seventeenth
century. It is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan (the other is
jambey lhakhang in Bumthang). Kyichu Lhakhang is compose of twin temples, the
first temple was built by Buddhist Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th
century and in 1968, H.M. Ashi Kessang, the queen mother of Bhutan arranged for
a second temple to be built alongside the first one in same style.
This monastery clings to sheer cliffs. Legend says that
Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a tiger to the site of Taktsang
Monastery. A must see place for all visitors. (4 hrs short trek).
Shops in Paro are open everyday. There are numerous
handicraft shops throughout the valley.
Most of the festivals (tsechus) in Bhutan have some or
other connection with Buddhism. In addition to normal tsechu, there are annual
festivals, which are celebrated with great fanfare Traditional and colourful
dances are performed by trained dancers and monks,Paro Tshechu .