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PARO


PARO (7,000 ft.)
  The 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.
 
  WHAT TO SEE IN PARO:
 
 

DRUKGYEL DZONG
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.

   
 

RINPUNG 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.

   
 

TA DZONG
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 National Museum and fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thanka paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.

   
 

KYICHU LHAKHANG
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.

   
 

FARM HOUSE
The beauty of Paro valley is embellished by cluster of quaint Farm houses. Bhutanese farm houses are very colourful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All house follow the same architectural pattern. A visit to farm house is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.

   
 

TAKTSANG MONASTERY
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)
(Pack lunch recommended)