Paro is intensely picturesque and one of the widest valleys in the kingdom of Bhutan.
Review and Ratings (3)
Beautiful scenic little town
Dont miss out on the trek to Tiger's Nest. If you cant walk that much, mules are available at the beginning itself, though only for going up. Nice joints to eat at, including bakeries.
I am heading to Paro
Getting to Paro
Transit time: 5hrs from major cities
Cost ₹4,850 per person
Paro is a lovely town in Bhutan. It is a historic town with many sacred places. Paro is one of the best towns in Bhutan to explore. There are buildings, shops, and restaurants rich is ancient architecture. There are many elegant houses along the valley. Its historic architecture will leave you breathless.
Paro valley is from the Paro chhu and wang Chhu Rivers up to Mt Jomolhari to the Tibet. This valley is wide where you can find rice fields and beautiful river.
This town is situated on the banks of Paro. In 1985 the main streets were built with colorful building and sites. In 10 the century a monastery was built by Padma Sambhava. But in the 15 the century the people of Palo offered the place to Lama Srung Srung Gyal to build a small temple. He was the disciple of Pajo Drugom Zhigpo. Later a fortress of five stories was built which is now known as Hungrel Dzong. Later in 17 the century, his disciples offered the fortress to Ngawang Namgyal of the Drukpa hierarchy. In 1644, they re-built the dzong with the new architecture. It was completed in 1646, this was the monastic center and is called as the ‘Rinpung Dzong’. Inside the Rinpung Dzong’, there are fourteen chapels and shrines namely: Kungarwa Monks' assembly hall, Protector's shrine, SandalwoodStupa, Temple of the Guru's Eight Manifestations, Chapel ofAmitayus, Chapel of the head lama, The Clear Crystal Shrine, Apartments of the Abbot, Chapel of theEleven-faced AvalokiteÅ›vara, Chapel ofAkshobhya, Apartments of the King (Gyalpo'i Zimchung) Temple of the Treasure Revealer, and Temple of the Bursar. There is a temple Deyangkha outside Dzong.
In 1968 the fortress was made the home of ‘National Museum of Bhutan’.
The Dzong was named as Rinpung which means ‘heaps of jewels’, but later it was ruined in a fire in 1907. It was built mainly of stones. The only thing that remained was thangka. The Dzong was re-built by Penlop Dawa Penjor. It has sacred costumes and masks on the lining of the inner wall. Few of which are ancient and few are given by Dawa Penjor himself along with his successor Penlop Tshering Penjor. There is a watchtower called Ta Dzong, which is there since 1967. There is a statue of Gregor Thanbichler, who was ruling during 1995. There is also a palace Ugyenpeljri, which is built by Penlop Tshering Penjor. The Royal family lodge there.
Why You Should Visit
You can view the beautiful houses, cafes and a central plaza with a large prayer wheel. It also has an amphitheater where many concerts are held.
Paro is a town filled with historic background and it is delightful to know all the tales and to experience them
The architecture in Paro has a very Bhutanese culture, which is a great experience
The dance and music of Bhutan are rare sites to see.
You can enjoy the delicacies made from yak’s cheese and the chili grown there.
There are about 155 temples and monasteries to visit.
There is a 15th-century temple named Dungtse near the Ugyen Perli Palace. Also, there is a bridge Rinpung Dzong.
In Paro, there are about 155 temples and monasteries which are the 14th. There is a temple, Tiger’s nest called Taktshang on the cliff of 1,000 meter, which is about 10 kilometers from Paro. This is a sacred place and is believed that Guru Rinpoche landed here on the back of a tigress. He is also the father of Bhutanese Buddhism. He meditated in the cave for three years three months three days and three hours in order to wash out the evil demons within. The cave is very sacred and many monks have been seen meditating. The trek to this place takes about three hours one way. You can view the Paro town up from there, surrounded by pine trees. You can hike to this cliff or rent a horse which costs about $10. The horse ride is just one way and you will have to climb the mountain by foot.
There is fortress-monastery Drukyel Dzong which is about 16 kilometers up the valley. It is partly destroyed due to fire in 1951.
There is also the National museum of Bhutan which was a watchtower. This was established in 1968. You can view some of the greatest Bhutanese art here. There are galleries which display the arts and culture. This holds the ancient Bhutan culture and traditions. It is a round building which resembles a conch shell.
Chele La Pass is of 13,000 feet above the sea level, you can drive from Paro which will take you about two hours. You can rent a car or also go by bus through the beautiful road.
The oldest temple Kyichu Lhakhang with Jambay Lhakhang was established in the 7th century and is in the center.
There is Drukgyel Dzong, at the end of the valley, which is built to protect against invaders.
The town temple, called as Tshongdoe Naktshang, is a peaceful place. It was built by Ngawang Chhogyel in 1525. He was one of the prince of Tibet. He was also an ancestor of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. There is a statue of Jampa, the future Buddha. There is also Bhutanese weapons and shields along the place.
Paro Dzong is visible through the valley. It was used for meetings of the assembly. Now it has the monastery and offices. It is said that this has the highest Bhutanese architecture.
There is a temple Dumtse Lhakhang which was built in 1433 by Thangtong Gyalpo. His mural is placed near the entrance. There are three floors which are said to represent heaven, earth, and hell.
There is a weekend market called Paro’s market. You will find some traditional local products which are unique. You will find a lot of local food in this market. It is a great experience for the foodie in you. It is busiest on Sunday.
Pena Lhakhang is the oldest temple built in 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo. It is past Dumtse Lhakhang
There is a wooden covered bridge called Nyamai Zam which is an old bridge. There is a river down from the bridge.
Paro Tsechu is held every spring and it is colorful and full of traditions. There is a stone-paved place where main dancers of Paro tsechu wear masks and perform. This place is about 18m square. The monks also display some of their embroidery paintings during this festival.
Favorite Local Foods
Bhutanese cuisine mainly consists of rice mainly brown, wheat and maize. Some soups of chicken, vegetables etc are also served.
You will find a snack called Khoo which is dried cow skin. It is available in the Paro’s weekend market.
Zow Shungo is made of rice with vegetables. There is also Ema datshi which is a dish made with cheese sauce and green chili. This is also called the national dish."ema" means "chili" and "datshi" means "cheese. The chili used can be green, red or white. The cheese is home made from cow’s milk or yak’s milk. The fat is removed from the curd and then processed into cheese.
There are other dishes made with chicken called Jasha maru and with pork called Phaksha paa, which contains vegetables and spices.
There is a dish made from cheese called Zoedoe, where cheese like Gouda and cheddar is used.
There are snacks like Khabzey made from flour, sugar, and water which is deep fried. There is Juma which is marinated sausage in spices.
Beverages include Butter tea which is called Suja, milk tea called ngaja and black tea. There is also Tsheringma teas which are an herbal tea and is supposed to give you long health and wealth. It contains safflower plant called as Gurgum and root of the plant Shing-Tsha, which helps to treat your heart and nerves.
There is also ara which is rice wine made from fermented rice, millet or wheat. It is white or clear in color. It is served with poached eggs or butter, also with rice. It served hot.
You should also try the butter made from Yak in the form of butter tea or any dish made from it.
Favorite Local Things to Buy
There are markets called ‘Bhutia’ which sells colorful shawls, coats, and sweaters.
There are also many handcrafts to purchase which has beautiful intricate Bhutanese prints. You can buy carpets, masks, bamboo items and also wooden products. There are also handmade bowls of wood which you can take back home.
A place called Chencho Handicrafts is where you will find a collection of handicrafts, jewelry, bags etc. It is famous for embroidery. You can also buy some fabric and souvenirs. You can also see weavers working with intricate patterns.
You can also buy silver and gold jewelry.
There are Bhutanese stamps and paintings which have beautiful art. Some stamps are made of silk and have a 3d effect. The stamps have a bright color on them. There are stamps with beautiful Disney characters. You can buy these from the post office.
Dzi beads which are crème and brown in color which are Himalayan beads can be purchased. There is also jewelry made from these beads.
You can buy some rich silk fabric which has Bhutanese prints on them. There Yatras which are woolen cloth which is dyed that comes in rugs, jackets etc.
You can also buy some food products that are processed like honey and jams.
Please make a note not to buy antiques which are not allowed to take outside the country.
Things to do in Paro
Experience the local food at the weekend market. You can yak’s cheese, cow’s intestine, mushrooms, chilies, etc.
You can also watch archery match which is the national sport of Bhutan
The entire place is filled with mountains, forests, and valleys. You can enjoy the view or drive and a trek. The drive through the forest is the best sight. You can also view the local village life as you cross them.
There are stalls where datshi is set up for the visitors to taste.
There are traditional dances performed with masks that are delightful to watch.
Ideal Tour Package
It will take around three to four days to visit the beautiful Paro and the surrounding places. There are local buses to travel within the town. There are also planes to travel across the country.
VISA and Travel
Indians need to carry a passport which has a validity of at least six months and a voter ID card issued by the Election commission of India. You also need an entry permit. Other than these no VISA is required to travel to Bhutan. This is if you are traveling by Plane. If you are traveling by road then you need ‘entry permit’, based on the travel document from the immigration office of the government of Bhutan. If you do not have the travel document then you need to get one from the Indian consulate office in Phuentsholing and also apply for identification slip, which proves your nationality.
You can travel to Paro through airways which are convenient as Paro is the only international airport place in Bhutan. You can also travel by road. There are no railways as Bhutan had an agreement with India. There is a new construction happening to Bhutan from West Bengal which is funded by India.
Best Time to Visit
The climate varies from region to region. The seasons experienced are summer, monsoon, winter, spring, and autumn. The temperature will be a bit dry with cool winters and warm summers. There is winter during November to March where the temperature drops to minus 10, Rainy season is from July to September, and summers are in April to June which is a pleasant time to travel.