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PARO – Gateway to Bhutan
One can never neglect Paro if planning a Bhutan Tour. The city has the only international airport in the country that gives this Shangri-la a desirable connectivity for the inquisitive and excited travel enthusiasts. Paro is a dzongkhag or a district famous as the gateway of Bhutan.
Bound by mountains, Paro gives an authentic welcome upon arriving in this land of thunder dragon. The picturesque valley is covered in fertile rice fields and also has a pristine river flowing along. The city has an old world charm that can be seen in the form of many traditional style Bhutanese houses. The town is based on a flat bottom valley and has grid like pattern. The central plaza has a large prayer wheel and an amphitheater where events and concerts are organized.
During a trip to Paro, tourists can visit over 155 temples and monasteries. Some of them are antique, dating back to 14th century. Tiger nest monastery or Taktsang Monastery is one of the most important attractions in the district. Located on a cliff face, this offers extremely amazing views of Bhutan.
There are many luxurious resorts and hi-end hotels in Paro where tourists can also enjoy peaceful retreat.
The Tiger's Nest Temple Or Taktsang Lhakhang – Undoubtedly, the most astonishing specimen and landmark structure of Bhutan, Taktsang Lhakhang is the holiest location of the kingdom. It is located along a corner of a cliff and overlooks the flat Paro valley from over 900 meters.
Built in 1692, the shrine is actually a cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated in 7th century A.D. Legend has it that the saint flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated here for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours. This was to repress the evil demons residing in it. Ever since then, the location has been considered a sacred shrine. Many even have specially travelled just to meditate in the cave.
Located just 10 km north of Paro at an elevation of 3.120 m, the temple draws tourists and pilgrims who trek for around 2-3 hours to reach the shrine. It is also an important part of remarkable Bhutan heritage tour.
National Museum - National museum is also an important attraction of the city. Set in Paro Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, the museum displays a splendid collection of ancient Bhutanese artifacts and artwork including traditional costumes, weaponry and handcrafted implements for daily life. Those who are interested in knowing the culture of Bhutan should actually visit this tourist attraction of Paro.
Best Time to Visit Paro
September to November are the ideal months to visit Bhutan. Splendid festivals, clear mountain views and pristine natural beauty will treat you once you arrive in Paro during this period.
Festival of Paro
Paro Tshechu – The signature festival of Paro is Paro Tshechu. Celebrated in a colourful way, the festival defines the culture and spiritual heritage of the region. Held at Paro Dzongkhag (district), the festival attracts many natives from neighbouring dzongs and even tourists visit Paro during the gala. The last day of the festivities are summed up by the monks who unveil the gigantic Thangka called Thongrol inside the dzongs. A piece of art, a Thongrol amazes all with its brilliant Buddhist art and amazing design. According to beliefs, seeing a Thongrol cleanses the viewer from any sin.