Paro district encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic natural beauty and a number of Bhutan’s most sacred, revered and oldest monasteries and temples, and also the county’s only international airport. This district is located at an altitude of 2200m/7218ft.Paro is one of the most fertile valleys in the kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced field.
Ta Dzong/National Museum:
Built in 1651 as a watchtower to defend Rinpong Dzong. This fortress was inaugurated as the national Museum of Bhutan in 1968.This museum located on a hill overlooking Rinpung Dzong houses ancient Bhutanese relics, religious painting, artifacts, armors, handicraft, coins, stamps of Bhutan and a small natural history collection.
Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung dzong, is one of the main attractions of Paro district. This fortress was built in 1646 by the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. This fortress now houses the district administration offices and the monastic body of the district. You will cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to this fortress and you can marvel at the architectural wonder of this fortress. The annual Paro Tshechu festival is held once a year in the spring.
It is an unusual Chorten (Stupa) like temple that was built in 1433 by the iron bridge builder Thangthong Gyelpo from Tibet to subdue a demons and so chained firmly to the ground. Its three floors represent hell, earth and heaven. The paintings inside are said to be best in Bhutan.
It is one of the oldest and most scared shrines of the kingdom during back to 7th century (the other one is Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang) the lhakhang complex is composed of two temples. The first temple was built by Tibetan King, Songtshen Gampo in the 7th century and in 1968.Her Majesty, Ashi Kesang , the Queen Mother of Bhutan, built the second temple in original pattern.
(Taktsang /Tiger nest Monastery :
Taktsang monastery (Tiger Nest) which is perched on an edge of a steep cliff at 900m above Paro valley, Taktsang(Tigers Nest) monastery is one of the Bhutan’s most sacred and revered monastery.Guru Rinpoche,who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, is said to have arrived here on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuentse eastern part of Bhutan and mediated in a cave for three months where Taktshang monastery today stands. All the Bhutanese people make it a point to visit this monastery at least once in their lifetime. On 19th April 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of the building but now this Bhutanese jewels has been able to restored to its original glory.The view of the Paro valley from here on is breathtaking and the atmosphere is very holy,a place where every Bhutanese will want to come at least once in his/her life.
Key attractions: The tiger’s nest, the cave temple inside the monastery, the majestic views, and the many small temples inside the premises of the monastery.
Note: Your Bhutan trip would be incomplete without visiting Tiger nest monastery.
It is one of a ruin fortress in Bhutan.Drugyel Dzong or the Victories fort, which was built by Zhabdrung Namgyel Namgyel in 1649 to commemorate his victory over Tibetan invaders. You can see the commanding view of Mount Jomolhari ( 7314m) in its white glory, from the delightful village nesting at the foot of Drugyel Dzong. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century.
Kila Gompa is located below Chelela Pass. It is about 27km from Bongdey, Paro. Kila Goemba is the home of Buddhist nuns who have dedicated their life to religion. Nuns at this nunnery lead a peaceful life of religious studies, prayer and meditation. This nunnery is located on a serene patch of a mountainside, below Chelela pass.The journey to this Goenpa will discover the lives in self-imposed isolation and the lives of our nuns (women and girls pursuing the religious activities). You can also enjoy the panoramic vistas of Paro Valley, Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake from the spot on clear days.
There are around seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying sheer Cliffside, where between 30 to 70 nuns live in self-imposed isolation. You will surprise to see that their life is so simple and live in serenity and in harmony with Mother Nature. The Sanskrit meaning of Kila is subjugating spiritual dagger that destroys the negativities. Your visit to this temple and know more about the lifestyles of the nuns living here will bring you the positive change and positive energy in your life. It is so fascinating to see nuns life in the fascinating country where they enjoy the true happiness and blessing of our Mother Nature and almighty god. Visit and enrich your life.
Che Le – La Pass ( Day excursion):
It is the highest road pass in the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, the Chele La Pass lies at a dizzying 3988 meters (13 084 feet) above sea level. In addition to the spectacular scenery, a fluttering avenue of colorful prayer flags adds to the festive atmosphere of the almost two-hour drive along this rugged mountain road to the beginning of the hiking trail to the Kila Goemba. At this high altitude, the temperate drops and the air become clearer as get closer to the Pass. The winter months offer particularly beautiful views of the surroundings as you pass by trickling waterfalls, dense forests and alabaster snow en route to the hiking trail
Once you reach pass,you can walk and relax of your own around and feel yourself comfortable. You can also see the Jomolhari Mountain if the weather is clear on that day.
Please Note: you can hang some prayer flags ( Lung Dhar) on top of the passes according to your date of birth if you wish.You will accumulate some merits, brings good luck and best wishes in your life( Please discuss with the guide in advace,so that he can arrange you accordingly.
Paro valley is one of the most beautiful and fertile lands where you can see people grow locally red rice as a main cash income. Bhutanese farm houses are very colourful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of single nail. All houses follow the same architectural pattern. One can visit to Farm House and spend a night. It is very interesting and offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
Ta- Dzong to Zuri Dzong/Uma hike:
The peak of the Zuri Dzong Trek is probably the perfect spot to have a bird-eye view of the entire Paro valley. The Zuri Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, and in their lies a cave where Buddha came to meditate in, in the 8th century. This peaceful place allows both Bhutanese and tourists to soak in the tranquil that radiates from the extraordinary view; something one can stare at for hours in wonder and awe. The total journey time to get there will take approximately 1 and ½ hour if one starts from the museum watchtower, and an additional 1-hour to exit out towards Uma. Tourists can expect to sit and relax there, and also remember to catch the amazing side view as you hike through Trek.
Chumbu Lhakhang ( Chumphu Monastery)
Chumphug monastery is situated at about 3100m,on a steep mountain slope. It is one of the most scared pilgrimage places in the Himalayas. With its towering cliff and waterfalls, it revered as a second Pemako,in reference to Padmasambjava’s “Hidden Land” situated along Tsangpo Gorge in remote part of Arunachal Pradesh.
Guru Padmasambhava is said to have mediated in Chumphug for about 3 months in 8th century. There are numerous caves associated with Guru,many important Buddhist masters said to have followed the footsteps of Guru and mediated here. Among other, many Bhutanese teachers such as Terron Drukdra Dorji,Jey shakya Rinchen,Jey YOnten Thaye,Jey Kuenga Gyeltshen said to have spent time here.The main relic in the temple is female tutelary deity in Himalayan Buddhism. There are lots of unusual shaped rocks and imprint of guru Rinpoche in the area while trekking on the way to monastery.12 young monks headed by one teacher and Lama is in residence here.
Form Paro town; it is about 1 hour drive on the farm road, on side valley, following Dochu River, which flows, into Pachu. From the road head, it is about 3 hours trek through dense oak, conifer and bamboo forests. First 2 hours hike is a gentle gradual ascend, crossing rivers few times and well maintained small wooden bridges. The final 45 minutes trek is a steep ascend to reach the main temple. Along the way, one can make de tour, visiting caves and waterfalls.