Altitude: 2,200 m/8,500 feet
Situated at an average elevation of 8,500 feet high from sea level, home to many of Bhutan's oldest temples and monasteries. Paro valley has managed to keep its bucolic nature in spite of the Bhutan's only airport and many development activities. Depending on season the valley floor is covered with brown or green fields, while small villages and isolated farms dot the landscape. The valley is also known for the produce of Bhutan's famous red rice. It has always been one of country’s strongest and important fortresses and on several occasions it was used for defending the valley from the Tibetan incursions.
The place to see is Drukgyal Dzong, ‘Bhutan’s victory fort’, overlooking the beautiful village with Mount Jumolhari in the background. This ruin Dzong (Fortress) was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolian warlord, Gushri Khan. Historically and strategically it withstood all its glory and had captured western eyes in 1914 vide National Geography magazine. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 and is now preserved as heritage site.
Rinpung Dzong meaning "fortress of the heap of jewels", built at the same time of Drukgyal Dzong, now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro district and residence for the 200 monks. Walking up through the traditional bridge, and over a stone inlaid path, you enjoy the great view of the superb architecture and the life around the Dzong. It is also the venue for Paro festival, held in the spring.
Ta Dzong, overlooking the Rinpung Dzong was built in 1951 as a watchtower. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is round, and more like parts of a European castle. From 1967 the Dzong was re-established as the National Museum by the third king. It holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangka, weaponry, statues, remains of animal, stamps.
Kichu Lhakhang, to subdue demon in the entire region of Himalaya, a Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century miraculously built 108 temples. Kichu is considered to be one of them and is one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan.
Paro Town, rows of shops line the main road built in traditional architecture. This stretch of about 250 meters, with farmers leading their horses, its occasional idlers leaning against the storefronts, the town of Paro strangely resembles a village of the old American West.
Farm House, Bhutanese farmhouses are colorful, decorative and traditionally built without any nails or iron bars. Majority of the houses are with three stories, first floor is utilized for sheltering cattle, second floor for the family to live in and the top for storing and drying of foods and fodder for animal. Almost all the farmhouses follow the same architectural pattern. A visit to farmhouse is interesting and provides you with an experience to the daily life of average Bhutanese.
Druk Choeding built in 1525 by Ngawang Chhogyel, one of the prince-abbots of Ralung in Tibet and an ancestor of the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.