Paro valley, one of the most beautiful valleys of Bhutan, is known as the rice bowl of Bhutan. The Paachu or Paro River meandering through it contributes to nourishing the rice fields and fruit orchards of Paro. To the north of Paro stand the Mount Jhomolhari (Goddess Mountain) and the glacier waters from its five sister peaks fall torrentially through deep gorges finally converging to form the Paro River.
Besides being the only district that boasts of an international airstrip, it is also home to many of Bhutan’s oldest and most popular religious monuments.
It is situated in the north-western part of the country at an altitude of 2,250m above the sea level. The temperature ranges from 26 to 14 degree Celsius in summer and 14 to – five during winter.
Places of interest:
- Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) nestled on a seemingly impossible rock face at 3,000 feet (900m.), this Lhakhang never fails to astound and awe onlookers and visitors alike. Legend has it that it was built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated after he flew there riding on the back of a flying tigress. It is a very sacred pilgrimage destination and a tourist hotspot. Though the uphill climb can be exhausting the view from the top and the thrill of the experience can be truly rewarding.
- Rinpung Dzong (fortress on a heap of jewels) elegantly stands on a hill that rises from the Paro River. Built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first ruler of Bhutan, it now houses the Paro monastic body and the office of the Dzongda (governor) and Thrimpon (Judge) of Paro district. The National Assembly used to meet in the Rinpung Dzong before the Tashichhodzong was built.
- Ta Dzong is the castle shaped watch tower that stands on the high hillside behind Rinpung Dzong. It was built in the 17th century to defend the Dzong during civil wars and foreign invasion and serves as the National Museum since 1967.
- Drugyel Dzong (Victorious Fortress), though in ruins today, it was once a significant place from where the Bhutanese repelled several Tibetan invasions. It affords a truly breathtaking view of Mount Jumolhari.