PARO (Altitude 2280m)-Open Sesame
This beautiful valley, which encapsulates within itself rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends, is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the country’s only airport and the National Museum. Mount. Jhomolhari (7300m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial waters plunge through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom, producing a bulk of the famous red rice from its terraced fields.
As you fly into Bhutan you will find that Paro is as an introduction to Bhutan as there can be. The place reflects all of Bhutan. Fresh with crisp, clean mountain air Paro is a valley encased by walls of mountains that are dotted with Buddhist stupas and monasteries. And a river runs through it.
The most prominent structure in the valley is the elegant Rinpung Dzong which, like most dzongs in Bhutan, is built upon an elevated vantage point that overlooks the largest stretch of the valley. The Rinpung Dzong is the monastic and administrative center of the district. Up on a hillock above the dzong rises what was once a watchtower. This, the Ta Dzong, is now the National Museum.
On touchdown in Paro the very airport itself will speak of the Bhutanese element that pervades all buildings in Bhutan. But for architectural marvel you must travel some distance upstream where the Taktsang monastery (3120m) – seriously damaged in a 1998 fire and now reconstructed – stands on the sheer face of a granite cliff.
Tazong (the Fortress of the Victorious Drukpas), located 18 kilometers from Paro town, is another monument to the Bhutanese spirit. It was from here that Bhutan repeatedly and successfully drove back Tibetan invaders.
However, for all the peace and calm of the architectural feat represents the strength of religious fervor in Bhutan.
Drukgyel Dhe valley, Paro is widely regarded as a “rice bowl” valley and is one of the most prosperous settlements in a country that is dominantly agrarian
PLACES OF INTEREST :
Drukyel Dzong or the ruined fort, Rinpung Dzong, Tiger’s Nest hike, Satsam Chorten, Kyichu Lhakang, Vegetable Market, National Museum, Farm House etc.