Bhutan is a small state cradled in between India and Myanmar. Paro is its capital. Paro is one of the most cultural and historical places in Bhutan. It is a small town surrounded by luscious green valleys, monasteries, and sacred places filled with legends and myths. The small town also houses the only airport in the country, which is also a sight for sore eyes. The airport generates a lot of tourists because of its location. The architecture and landscape of the town are also breathtaking. The town is surrounded by traditionally built houses and beautifully decorated buildings, shops, and restaurants. Punakha, Jakar, and Paro’s towns are called “the golden triangle of Bhutan.”
Although mountains and valleys surround Paro, the ancient monasteries are among the top attractions in the town. Many online websites advertise several Bhutan tour packages to attract more tourists. Here are a few sites you must visit on your trip to Bhutan.
The National Museum Of Bhutan
The national museum was first built to serve the purpose of a watchtower in 1649. In 1968 it was converted to a museum. The museum has a total of six floors. It portrays all of Bhutan’s arts and traditions and narrates a unique and historical tale. The museum has paintings, animal masks, and other objects of art. The main attraction of the museum is the egg of a mule. It has a visiting time of 9 AM to 4 PM and charges an admission fee of Rs 25 per person.
Chele La Pass
Chele La Pass is located at an altitude of thirteen thousand feet above sea level. It takes a two-hour-long drive from Paro to reach here. The view of the Himalayan Range from this pass is magical. Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake are visible from this spot. The pass is adorned with a lot of colorful flags. But the best part about it is the frozen rivers.
More popularly known as the tiger’s nest, Taktsang Lhakhang is located over a cliff in Paro. Legend says that Guru Rinpocherode to Taktsang Lhakhang on the back of a tigress while traveling to Tibet. In this place, he had meditated for three months. The monastery located here is not accessible by car. You can either ride a horse or hike to reach this place. The monastery is exceptionally picturesque and is home to some of the rarest artifacts.
Also known as Paro Dzong, Rinpung Dzong is said to be capturing the life of Buddha. It is located at the center of the town, just two kilometers away from the airport. This place had an amazing view of the valley and the Paro Chu River. Just below the Dzong is the Nyamai Zam wooden bridge.
Drukgyel Dzong is the fortress that was built to celebrate Bhutan’s victory in 1649. A fire that struck in 1951 destroyed the fortress, but the place has still maintained its grandeur. From the top of these ruins, you can witness the most glorious views. If stoneworks from the past fascinate you, then visiting this place is a must.
Namgay Artisanal Brewery
The Namgay is Paro’s microbrewery. Bhutan dark ale, red lice lager shift from the conventional and are very popular among the tourists and the locals.
Tamchoe monastery is located between Paro and Thimpu. It was built by a famous iron bridge builder, Thangtong Gyalpo. To reach the temple, you need to cross a bridge, washed away in 1969 and restored in 2005.
Kyichu Lkhaking is a beautiful monastery which is dated back to the seventh century. This is a very peaceful place to visit if you want peace and calm and explore the Buddhist culture. You can also learn a great deal about the Himalayan kingdom here.
This place is located at the peak of the Bondey village on the western side of the Paro valley and attracts many tourists every year. Also known as the mini Taktsang, this place houses four temples said to be blessed by Guru Rinpoche.
Druk Choeding Temple
It is one of the famous places for people to visit. It is also known as Tshogdoe Naktshang. The idol worshiped here is a seated Jampa. The temple was built by Ngawang Chhogyel, one of the prince abbots of Ralung in Tibet. It is located at the heart of Paro.
Ugyen Pelri Palace
The place is one of the most beautiful architectural and historical places to see in the town of Paro. The palace was built in the early 1990s by Tsering Penjor and Paro Penlop and had great historical significance. Currently, the Queen’s mother resides in it, and the palace is closed off to the public.
Dashi Nishioka Chorten Museum
The museum was built to pay tribute to the late Dasho Keiji Nishioka. He was a Japanese Agricultural expert whose significance in modernizing agriculture in Bhutan is paramount. He taught the Bhutanese farmers a great deal about agriculture and various tools and techniques used, which helped the country to flourish.
Paro Weekend Market
If you are looking to buy souvenirs on your trip to Bhutan, this is the perfect place for you. This place is ideal for buying keepsakes like Kira and traditional Bhutanese dresses, and customary prayer wheel. This place also sells many locally sourced products like Khoo( dried cow skin),chugo(dried yak cheese), and Tsirang honey. If you are a shopaholic, this place should be on your must-visit list.
Paro is a fascinating place to visit to learn many interesting facts about Bhutan, its historical significance, and its history of architecture and agriculture. With modernization, Bhutan is becoming an increasingly popular place for people to visit. Bhutan is not only rich in history, but mountains and valleys also surround it. It is a breath of fresh air for people trapped in the monotonous and mundane city life. One can easily fall in love with Bhutan’s entire landscape; also, the description mentioned above will help explore the place deeply.