Explore India Blog

Paro, Bhutan – A Land Where Art Meets Adventure

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Welcome to Paro, Bhutan!

As the river Paro flows through the valley, it weaves its way through golden paddy fields.  Cultivated fields of paddy and wheat, streams filled with fishes, and scattered areas of settlements are the natural beauty of Paro. Paro, Bhutan is what seems like Shangri La, a perfect paradise on earth.  Its idyllic beauty and serenity are comparable to none.  Bhutan’s sole international airport is located in Paro. Paro is also well connected with India by road through the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border. This quaint, scenic town also forms the Golden Triangle along with Jakar and Punakha. Historically, it is the center of two of the most important trade routes to Tibet. Paro forms the gateway to Bhutan. This is also the town where you will begin your journey to the land of happiness.  Its warm hospitality is something that you will certainly notice once you reach Paro.

Explore Rinchen Pung Dzong while in Paro

The town Paro is centered around the Rinchen Pung Dzong, made of stones instead of clay. The name means “Fortress on a Heap of Jewels.” It once served as the meeting hall for the National Assembly. Unfortunately, Rinpung and all its treasures were destroyed by a fire in 1907.  Only one thangka known as Thongdrel was saved.  It was painted in the memory of Padma Sambhavna, the monk who introduced Buddhism. This Thongdel is one of the most exquisite Bhutanese treasures of paintings in silk and cotton. The locals believe that visiting this monastery and paying homage to this sacred Thongdrel is a step towards attaining nirvana.

Outside the dzong, there are open grounds where dancers perform popular dance forms of the biggest festival of Paro known as Tsechu.  This festival is held in March or April.  The dzong courtyard is opened daily, but on weekends some portions have restricted entry.

Overlooking the dzong stands an ancient watchtower which is the National Museum of Bhutan.

Trekking up to The Tiger’s Nest, Taktsang

Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Once in Paro, visiting Taktsang or also known as The Tiger’s Nest is something everyone has in their itinerary.  Located about 10 kilometers from Paro lies this iconic and mystical UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Together with its history and the unimaginably beautiful views, the isolated location makes it both an adventurous and a spiritual experience. It is believed to be the cave where Guru Rinpoche flew atop a tiger and meditated for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days.

Taktsang is set at an impossible altitude of 3120 meters, and as one starts the ascent through the narrow yet well-maintained track, it throws open some of the most scenic views of the emerald valleys below.  The trek that one embarks on to reach Taktsang is truly one that is capable of opening vistas that no one can truly be prepared for. Therefore, a visit to Taktsang is truly a pilgrimage to remember, and you will make fabulous memories of a lifetime.

Ready for some more adventure? Come Along!

Drukgyel Dzong, or the “Fortress of Victory,” is situated in Upper Paro, and it was built to mark Bhutan’s victory over Tibet.  Set atop a hill, it has one entry point from one side and is protected by three towers.  Though now in ruins, this formidable edifice remains as a relic of Bhutan’s glorious past.  If the weather permits, one can be gifted with the view of Bhutan’s holy peak, Mt. Jumolhari, in the backdrop.

Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, which is situated in Paro. Built-in the 7th century, it is composed of twin temples and is considered one of Bhutan’s holiest temples. Folklore has it that it is one of the 108 temples built overnight across Tibet and borderland by Songsten Gampo in the 7th century.  You will be fascinated by the deep-rooted faith and the picturesque locale, making it a photomontage to withhold and admire.

The Bhutanese Markets are simply fascinating

Off the beaten path, you can also consider Chele La Pass – a 2-hour drive from Paro. This is the highest motorable pass in Bhutan and connects the city to Haa Valley.  Furthermore, Paro is also famous for the Druk Choeding temple.   Last but not least, a stroll through the famous Bhutanese markets throws open a treasure trove of souvenirs.  They range from wooden carved masks and Bhutanese thangka paintings to Bhutanese handmade paper and even the vibrant prayer flags. Paro is an art lover’s paradise, and you will be spoilt for choices.

The beauty of the place mixed with its glorious history and its spirituality will fulfill your senses.  Not only will it be a beautiful travel expedition, but it will also widen your horizon in every which way.  You will bring home fond memories of this enchanted kingdom’s key city, Paro.

Plan your next adventure with Explore India

Looking to experience the Indian Subcontinent first-hand? Browse our exciting tours or talk to one of our travel specialists.

Authorized Tour Operator

Explore India takes pride in being a fully licensed Tour Operator authorized by the Indian Tourist Board and also officially acknowledged by the Ministry of Tourism of India. BC-REG License #73057 Retail & Wholesale.

Copyright 2020. Explore India Journeys Inc.
604-1201 West Pender Street. Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6E 2V2