Paro is sometimes referred to as the rice bowl of Bhutan. It is relatively wider than most parts of the country and has fertile paddy fields and apple orchards. Paro consists of ten administrative counties.
|Surface area||1,8071, 293.22 sq. kilometers|
|Altitude||2250 meters above sea level|
Getting to Paro
If you are flying into the country, you will land at our only international airport which is in Paro. From here, it takes about an hour to drive to the capital Thimphu.
Places of Interest
Paro Dzong: The Dzong is referred to as Rimpung Dzong (a shortened version of Rinchen Pung, literally translated as heap of precious jewels) by the Bhutanese. It was built in 1646 by Zhabdruung Ngawang Namgyal. There is a beautiful cantilever bridge at the base of the mound on which the Dzong lies.
Ta Dzong (watch tower): The Ta Dzong lies on a hill, watching over the Paro Dzong. It was built in the 17th Century. Since 1967, it has been converted into a Museum and has a rich collection of the cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan.
Kyichu Lhakhang: Together with the Jambe Lhakhang in Bumthang, the Kyichu Lhakhang was built in the 7th century. Legend has it that it is located on the left sole of a demoness whose body extends over the Himalayas and is one of the 108 temples believed to have been built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in a single day to pin down the demoness.
Ruins of the Drugyal Dzong (Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa People): The Dzong was built in 1647 to celebrate Bhutanese victory over a Tibetan incursion. Later, it served as the seat of power for the Lord of the Drugyel region. It is in ruins since a fire razed it in 1951.
Taktshang (Tiger’s lair): This monastery is located atop an 800 meter cliff. It is believed that in the 8th Century, Guru Rimpoche flew here from Kurtoe (eastern Bhutan) on a tigress. Several centuries later, it was the 4th Desi, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye, who constructed a monastery in 1692. Parts of the monastery was burnt down in 1952 and reconstructed. In 1998, another fire burnt a large part of the monastery. A huge reconstruction project was initiated and completed two years later.
The main town of Paro has a wealth of family run shops selling traditional crafts and small restaurants. Around this town and further up the valley, a host of luxury hotels have been built. The people of Paro are known to be hard working and industrious.