Places to Visit in Paro: Complete Guide
Paro is a little town in the tiny country of Bhutan. It is a home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The valley is also home to Mount Jhomolhari situated at the northern end of the valley. This small town has a feeling of Modern village. It has paddy fields, modern hotels and restaurants, an airport. It is one of the most beautiful town of Bhutan. If you love the peace and serenity, stay in the Paro instead of Thimphu. Thimphu is much commercialized as like other capital cities in the world. If you think about the happiest place on the earth, Bhutan is the place to be.In this blog I am sharing Places to Visit in Paro,Bhutan.
- 1 1. Visit National Museum of Bhutan/Ta Dzong
- 2 2. Must visit Rinpung Dzong in Paro
- 3 3. Offer Prayers at Kyichu Lhakhang
- 4 4. Check out Bird Eye View of Paro Airport
- 5 5. Take River Side Walk,Paro
- 6 Other Things to do:
- 7 #6 Hike to Taktsang Monastery/Tiger’s Nest Paro:
- 8 How to Reach Paro in Bhutan:
- 9 Where to Stay in Paro:
- 10 Getting Around Paro:
- 11 Travel Tips and Etiquette Bhutan:
- 12 Genertal Paro Travel Tips:
1. Visit National Museum of Bhutan/Ta Dzong
Ta Dzong built as watchtower and converted into a cultural museum in 1968 to collect, preserve and exhibit the cultural and artifacts of Bhutanese civilization, heritage and traditions. It also showcases Bhutan’s rich bio-diversity through a Natural history Gallery. Main attractions I love here is Mask Exhibition and Thangka Gallery. Thangka is traditional paintings, often commissioned as donations for temple and shrines. The heritage gallery offers works of art that has been preserved through centuries makes it one of the best places to visit in paro.
Museum also offers great panoramic views of Paro valley.
Visit hours: 9 AM to 5 PM (Mar-Oct)/ 9 AM to 4 PM (Nov-Feb) on Tuesday-Saturday, closed on Sundays,Mondays and Govt Holidays.
Entry Fee: INR 25/person for SAARC country residents and INR 150/person for Non-SAARC Country residents.
2. Must visit Rinpung Dzong in Paro
Another top places to visit in Paro is Rinpung Dzong which is a largest dzong – Buddhist monastery and fortress in Paro. It is also known as Paro Dzong. It houses the district monastic body and government administrative offices. It comprises monk’s assembly hall, shrines etc. Dzong have beautiful architecture that makes them most attractive tourist attractions in Paro.
If you come here during festival dates, you can witness the beautiful tshechu festival. Bhutan festivals are just riots of colors and I was here during one such festival to witness it. A traditional colorful mask dances performs and conveys the religious stories and incidents from as long ago as the 8th century, during the life of Guru Padmasambhava and it is performed by monks for several days.It is believed that everyone must attend a Tshechu and witness the mask dances at least once in order to receive blessings and wash away their sins.Every mask dance performed during a Tshechu has a special meaning or a story behind it and many are based on stories.
Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances tshechus also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment.
Just below the Rinpung Dzong, you can pit stop at a wooden bridge called NYAMAI JAM. It is a wooden bridge as like in Punakha Dzong. You can admire the view of Paro Chhu and Rinpung Dzong from here. Monks and local people use it to reach to Dzong and nearby places.
3. Offer Prayers at Kyichu Lhakhang
It is one of the oldest and beautiful temple of Bhutan. Established in 7th century it was a small structure, by the time many saints expanded the temple in size and grandeur over the period of time. At the entrance of the temple, blue jacaranda flowers and white apple tree flowers make it more beautiful. Inside the temple courtyards, orange trees and butter lamps makes the temple most wonderful and serene place.
Temple has so many prayer wheels than any other Lhakhang and one can see people whirls it and rounds up the temple throughout the day.
4. Check out Bird Eye View of Paro Airport
Bhutan Sightseeing is incomplete without Stopping to get BIRDEYE VIEW of Paro airport. Paro airport located on the bank of Paro Chhu river. You can have the best view of the airport from here. If you go to this point early in the morning at 8.30 am, you can see the dramatic take offs from the airport. It is considered to be most challenging and dangerous airport in the world, so the flight takes off and landing is the trickiest here.
Also Read: Places to Visit in Thimphu
5. Take River Side Walk,Paro
Just walk beside the river and enjoy the local vibe of the valley. Pass by beautiful local houses and agriculture land and just enjoy the natural flora and fauna. Also you can take a leisure walk on riverside promenade which is long stretch.
Other Things to do:
Apart from above you can visit to Pema Gift shop where you can dress like a Bhutanese; wear Gho (for men) and Kira (for women) at nominal rates and get clicked yourself and also you can Visit Drukgyal Dzong.
#6 Hike to Taktsang Monastery/Tiger’s Nest Paro:
Any Trip to Bhutan is incomplete without hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the top places to see in Paro,Bhutan. Tigers Nest Monastery has amazing architecture and hangs on cliff of the rock at 3000 feet above the ground.
It took 4 hours to hike up to the monastery from the ground.As you hike up, you will pass through lush green forest of Pine trees and so many prayer flags.I highly recommend not to take horse ride to reach the monastery as being responsible traveler.At the midway, you will come across a cafe to relax for a while and there you will get a glimpse of the monastery that looks so near.After walking numerous steps down and up, you will reach at the top of the cliff to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The tiger’s nest hike was not easy for me, but I made it happen anyway!
As the Legend said the monastery is dedicated to master Buddhist Guru Padmasambhava. It is said that he rode a flying Tigress here and meditated in this cave for several years.The existing monastery built around this cave and can seen it today also.
The Tiger’s Nest is worth visiting in Paro in every aspect looking to the Panoramic views it offers and surrounding valley from above.
Paro is small and kind of rural than Thimphu, so Paro sightseeing places are limited to Tiger’s nest hike for most of the tourists bur these are few best places to visit in Paro in 2 days.
How to Reach Paro in Bhutan:
Paro airport is the nearest airport in Bhutan. Druk Air and Bhutan airlines only fly to Bhutan.
Other Option is to fly to Bagdogara airport in West Bengal,India and then take road trip from Pheuntsholing.
Where to Stay in Paro:
There are so many hotels available in the budget of INR 1500-2000/night. I had stayed at Hotel Phendey Gakhil for INR 1800/Night near to Kyichu Lhakhang. You can directly book the hotels from Bhutan hotel and Tourism Bhutan. All the hotels in Bhutan provides free WiFi connectivity to stay in touch with digital Media.
Getting Around Paro:
Local taxis for sightseeing are available at INR 1200-1500 from the Taxi stand.
Currency: Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu). 1 INR = 1 Nu. Indian denominations up to INR 500 are accepted in Bhutan.
Travel Tips and Etiquette Bhutan:
- Bhutan is Buddhist country; littering, smoking, playing games are strictly prohibited inside the Dzongs/monasteries.
- Photography inside Lhakhang and Dzong is prohibited.It is permitted in the courtyards and outside temple.
- Always wear appropriate clothes. Avoid the shorts and sleeveless.
- Don’t cover your head with the Cap/dupatta/scarf inside the Dzongs/Lhakhang.
- When pass by chortens, mani walls or prayer flag, pass by to the left or clockwise.
- Apply lot of Sunscreen lotion if you are visiting Bhutan in summer, as it may give you sunburn.
- Always carry water bottles with you; you might walk a lot at every sightseeing place.
- Ask permission before taking a person’s photo and respect their decision if they decline.
Genertal Paro Travel Tips:
- I recommend staying for 2-3 Nights in this beautiful town.
- Always check the festival dates while planning your travel to Bhutan. Festivals shows unique,colorful and exciting displays of traditional culture.Two of the most popular Tshechus in the country are the Paro and Thimphu Tshechus in terms of participation and audience.check the dates from Tourism Bhutan.
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