Paro Dzong, Paro

Currently Open [Closes at 05:00 pm]
  • 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
  • Map

About Paro Dzong, Paro

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 Information

  • 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 Opening and Closing Hours

  • The dzong courtyard is open daily, but on weekends, you will find the offices are deserted and most chapels are closed.

Restaurants Near Paro Dzong

  • Brioche Café
  • Paro Pizza
  • Bhukari at Uma by COMO

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in Paro before you plan your trip.

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Paro Dzong, Paro Reviews

  • Just 2 words to describe the place - Beautiful & Serene. Caution for tourists - Like many other places in Bhutan, the temple close by 6 pm. Try to reach there before that as we failed to reach in time and were unallowed to walk inside the main temple building, although tourists can view from outside and roam anywhere in the complex without any restrictions.

  • This is a holy place and sign of Bhutanese architecture. You will find peace and calm environment anytime any season. Best view at evening from distance. Don't miss to visit if you came at Paro.

  • This large Dzong is a fortress and monastery located on the riverbank of the beautiful Paro Chu (river). A beautiful wooden bridge connects the Dzong to city end. The massive towering walls surrounding the complex of courtyards, administrative offices and monks' accommodation. The building design reflects the traditional Bhutanese architecture.

  • This dzong is the best to look at from a distance in the evening! The lighting up there is just awesome!

  • Hi, If you are staying in Paro, then this is a must visit monument, The feeling of an extensive Bhutanese Architecture, and strength is very clearly reflected here.

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