Paro Dzong4203 Votes Currently Open
- Address: Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan
- Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
- Phone: 975-2323251
- Time Required: 01:30 Hrs
- Tags: Religious Site, Historical Site, Architecture , Monastery , Fort
The ParoDzong is commonly referred to as the RinpungDzong, and is a fortress-monastery commanding the view of theParo valley, as though pondering over its long, tumultuous history. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche initially built a monastery here towards the beginning of the tenth century, the size of which was increased in 1644 by NgawangNamgyal on the old foundations to an imposing five-story structure. This served for the following centuries as a clever and effective defence point against invasion attempts by the Tibetans.
Below the dzong, a traditional wooden bridge called NyamaiZam spans the ParoChhu, a reconstruction of the original, which was washed away in a flood in 1969. This bridge also served important defence purposes as ealier versions of it were removed in time of war to protect the dzong. The most picturesque views of ParoDzong are taken from the west bank of the river.
The ParoDzong’s alternative name comes from the fact that it is built with stones instead of clay, as Rinpung literallytranslated into ‘heaps of jewels’. The structure survived the 1897 earthquake but the fort and all its jewels, however, succumbed to a fire in 1907, leaving only one thangka, known as Thongdel, intact. The Dzong was then rebuilt by the PenlopDawaPenjor after the fire.
Today, it houses fourteen shrines and chapels within its premises. The courtyard inside the fortress is used for ParoTsechu, one of the most important Bhutanese festivals. The dzongalso has a priceless collection of sacred masks and costumesand the beautiful prayer wheel out front incredibly beautiful. Some relics preserved here date back several centuries, while others were contributed by DawaPenjor and his successor PenlopTsheringPenjorrecently. Like most dzongs, this one too houses both members of the monastic body (about 200 monks) as well as government offices.
above the Dzong stands an ancient watchtower called Ta Dzong which has been the National Museum of Bhutan since 1967.
Paro Dzong Travel Tips
- When you're in a temple in Bhutan, make sure that you only walk clockwise or you will be committing a major faux pas.
- The flag-lowering ceremony here happens at around 4:30PM, in case you want to catch that.
- Bear in mind, though, that if you arrive around the King’s departure time, you’ll have to wait for about 20 minutes to get in.
- Visitors are only allowed to use the government office’s toilets here and these aren’t supposed to be too hygienic.
- Trivia: Several scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci's 1995 film Little Buddha were filmed here.
- All restaurants are over a kilometre away, so it’s a good idea to carry some bottled water and snacks.
Paro Dzong Hours
- The dzong courtyard is open daily, but on weekends, you will find the offices are deserted and most chapels are closed.
- Brioche Café
- Paro Pizza
- Bhukari at Uma by COMO
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95% of people who visit Paro include Paro Dzong in their plan
12 PM - 1 PM
42.71% of people start their Paro Dzong visit around 12 PM - 1 PM
1 Hr 30 Minutes
People usually take around 1 Hr 30 Minutes to see Paro Dzong
82.22% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Paro Dzong