Popular Tourist Attractions In Paro Bhutan
Bhutan has slowly grown into one of the major tourist attractions among south Asian countries. Located along the north-eastern border of India, this little country is well known for its rich heritage, exceptional food cuisines, and breathtaking mountains and valleys. Whether you are someone who loves the serenity of the mountains, or a history buff, Bhutan offers a combination that appeals to one and all. Paro is one of Bhutan’s major cities and is also the location of Bhutan’s only international airport. This means Paro sees a huge annual tourist footfall, like most tourists visiting Bhutan from other countries such as Singapore visit Paro as their first destination. In addition to this, Paro is also home to some of the best sightseeing locations in Bhutan, further adding to its appeal for tourists.
Popularly dubbed as Bhutan’s heart, the Paro valley is traversed by the beautiful Paro river, known as Pa chu in the local language. The river has contributed to a flourishing valley filled with scenic beauty and rice fields that occupy the entire valley. The town has a quaint, old-world charm, making it a great place to explore on foot. As you walk on through the numerous lanes and by-lanes of Paro, be sure to munch on the well-known local street food. There are quite a few local attractions to see if you are looking for places to visit in Thimpu or Paro.
The first entry into the list is a well-known and popular attraction of Paro, a part of most Bhutan tour packages from Singapore. Locally known rather complicatedly as Taktsang Lhakhang, the Tiger’s nest is a majestic monastery located on a remote location atop a mountainside, overlooking the lush green valley below. The journey of over 3 hours, mostly on foot, along the treacherous mountainside roads leading up to the monastery, is worth the effort once you reach your destination and take in the beautiful sights from atop the mountaintop. Built in 1692, the monastery is well-known as the center of meditation for Guru Rinpoche. Tiger’s nest’s name has an interesting backstory, too, as Guru Rinpoche is believed to have traveled to the top of the mountain on the back of a flying tiger. The Tiger’s nest has been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Chele La Pass
If you are a fan of mountains, Bhutan is the right place to visit for you. Filled with numerous mountain peaks and adjoining valleys, and mountain lover is sure to have the time of his life traveling through all the scenic beauty that Bhutan has to offer. The Chele La pass is one such example. It is the highest motorable pass of Bhutan and is a mere 2 hours distance away from Paro. Make sure you visit it to take in the sights of sweeping valleys, majestic mountain peaks, and, if you are lucky, some pure, virgin snowfall.
Staying true to its literal meaning in the local language, the Rinpung Dzong is true “a fortress lying on top of jewels.” It has high historical significance, as it is well known as the National Assembly of Bhutan’s meeting place. It is now home to the Bhutan government’s pillars, as it houses both monarchial offices and government offices, such as local courts. While tourists can’t enter the official sections of the Rinpung Dzong, you can always appreciate the marvelous architecture and level of detailed designing that it shows.
The Rinpung Dzong dates back to the 17th century, originally built for its strategical advantage as a defensive fortress. It has a long and proud history of battles, having been used multiple times to fend off Tibet attacks over time. Another popular attraction associated with the Rinpung Dzong is the Tsechu dance form that the locals portray outside Rinpung Dzong’s grounds. It offers a unique insight into the Bhutanese culture and is a must-see for anyone visiting Paro.
The National Museum
The national museum of Paro is a rich storehouse of historical artifacts that tells the story of the evolution of Bhutan across the centuries into its modern state. The oldest artifacts in the museum date back to 4000 BC and are among the most senior sources of evidence for Bhutan’s cultural background. The museum is located on a watchtower dating back to the 17th century and doubles up as an excellent viewpoint for the valley below. It has a fine collection of cultural artifacts, stamps, and paintings, all telling stories about Bhutan’s glorious history. It is a much visit destination for anyone interested in the cultural heritage of Bhutan.
The Dungtse Lhakhang is a temple near Paro known for being built to ward off a demoness that haunted the top of the hill on which it was built. The story further continues that the Dungtse Lhakhang is only one of the five temples built to ward off the demoness, the rest of the five being scattered around the world, said to have been built on the five body parts of the demoness. Said to have been built in the early 15th century, the building was restored to its present state in the 19th century. Apart from the historical and cultural significance, the temple is also home to a rich collection of Kagyu lineage arts and is a major attraction for anyone interested in Buddhist philosophy and paintings.
Bhutan is a truly magnificent destination if you are looking for a place in South Asia to travel for your next holiday. It offers a unique combination of scenic beauty in mountains, valleys, mountain passes, and rivers and is further supplemented by being a rich storehouse of culture, heritage, and history. Out of the different locations worth visiting in Bhutan, Paro is perhaps the most significant, as there are numerous visit-worthy locations sprinkled around this scenic hill town. So if you are planning out your next holiday in Bhutan, make sure you include Paro and all of the sightseeing it has to offer to experience what Bhutan has to offer indeed.