In a way, Paro represents everything that is beautiful in Bhutan. It boasts more than 155 temples & monasteries, with some built as far back as the 14th century. The sight of Taktsang Monastery, or Tiger’s Nest, will surprise you as much as the national museum, Ta Dzong. Drugyel Dzong, or, The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese, is another attraction. Although most of it lies in ruins now, it still makes for some interesting sightseeing. It also hosts Paro Tshechu, counted among the biggest festivals of Bhutan.
Situated in the lap of gorgeous Paro valley in Bhutan, Paro is a quaint little town that inherits its name from the valley itself. Vast expanses of paddy fields, magnificent vistas of Mt. Jhomolhari and the gorgeous river, Pa Chu, meandering by, no wonder it is a scenic paradise. What adds to the charm of the town’s captivating beauty is its tranquil vibe that lures countless tourists from across the globe to have a peaceful time away from the chaos of mundane lives.
Often called the heart of Bhutan, Paro is also recognized as one of the most significant historical and cultural centres of the country, which is home to age-old buildings, temples and dzongs. Some of the must visit places in Paro are the ‘Rinpung Dzong’, ‘Kyichu Lhakhang’ and ‘Drugyel Dzong’. Those who are hungry for an insight into Bhutan’s culture and heritage, must make their way to ‘Ta Dzong’, or the ‘National Museum of Bhutan’. Perched over the Rinpung Dzong, the museum is a treasure house of antique Buddhist thangka paintings, bronze artefacts, old traditional costumes and antique armaments. A sightseeing excursion in Paro is not complete without visiting the world famous ‘Taktsang Monastery’ or the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Perched on a rocky cliff and decked with a fascinating architecture, no wonder, it finds a place in every traveller’s list of ‘things to do’ and ‘must-see attractions’ while in Bhutan. Though the monastery is best visited on a hiking expedition through well maintained trails, if you are someone who is weak on the fitness front, a pony ride is best suited for your sorts.
Paro is also a hub for adventure seekers in Bhutan, from mountain biking and cycling to river rafting and kayaking, the place offers everything to get your adrenaline rushing. For those who love trekking, there are ample hidden routes across the valley to explore. Amongst all, the ‘Mount Jhomolhari Trek’ happens to be the most popular and often finds its mention on the list of passionate trekkers.
Your holidays in Paro are often considered incomplete if you haven’t indulged in the local shopping experience. The colourful ‘Paro Weekend Market’ is a popular tourist attraction and leaves travellers with a splendid time shopping keepsakes, traditional Bhutanese dresses, Bhutanese stamps and prayer wheels. Gastronomes would also find an ample amount of dried yak cheese and organic honey to carry back home.
September to November is an ideal time to visit Paro. The clear skies and balmy weather with temperature just under 20 degrees offer a perfect setting to go sightseeing or embark on a trekking expedition. Those seeking a cultural spectacle must plan a trip around March, when the popular annual fair, Paro Tshechu, is held.
Paro is the only town in Bhutan that has an airport. Druk Air (Royal Bhutan Airlines) is the main airline operating here, which offers daily flights to and from the major Indian cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bagdogra.