Paro, a lovely town set among interesting slopes and peaks, filled with magnificent traditional dwellings and bathed in virgin greeneries, is a jewel in Bhutan's tourism map. This magnificent settlement, located at the junction of the Paro Chhu and Wang Chhu rivers, spreads its immaculate beauty all the way to Mt. Jhomolhari, attracting hundreds of visitors each year. Paro has everything a traveler wants while having a tour to Bhutan in terms of alluring tourist places and activities to do. Paro, Bhutan's most attractive location, with over 155 temples and monasteries, some dating back to the 14th century. Taktsang Monastery, or Tiger's Nest, will surprise you as much as Ta Dzong, the national museum. Another highlight is the Drugyel Dzong or Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese.
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Now, have a look at these places to visit in Paro in detail so that you can make a proper to plan to explore all of them. Some of the best places to visit in Paro are:
The splendid Taktsang Monastery is one of the best places to visit in Paro. Also known as Tiger's Nest, Taktsang Monastery is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan and one of the most important pilgrimage sites, perched on the edge of a frighteningly steep cliff. Guru Rinpoche, the Father of Bhutanese Buddhism, is said to have travelled from Tibet on the back of a tigress and meditated here over a million years ago. The trek to the monastery is totally uphill and takes around 2-3 hours, with a cafe on the crest where you can stop for a breather and refreshments. A pony ride will take you to the 'cafeteria', a wooden teahouse-restaurant with spectacular views over the monastery.
National Museum of Bhutan is another best place to visit in Paro. If you're interested in learning more about Bhutan's myths and stories, visit the National Museum of Bhutan to learn more about the country's historic greatness. Ta Dzong, which means "watchtower", is the name of the museum. The structure is spherical and has seven levels, shaped like a conch shell. In 1968, this structure was reopened as a cultural museum, preserving Bhutanese architecture, values, and ways of life. It was built as a shield to protect the dzong and then served as a prison until being refurbished into a museum that today includes Thangka paintings, antique weapons, 17th-century household goods, rare artifacts, traditional things, and some Stone Age possessions. The museum is unquestionably one of Paro's most interesting attractions.
The Rinpung Dzong Monastery, often known as Paro Dzong, is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture. It was erected with incredible accuracy, and the structures are still standing today. One unique feature of these structures is that they are securely connected without the need of nails. Rinchen Pung Dzong is a short form of Rinpung Dzong, which means "Fortress atop a Heap of Jewels." This fort has proven its usefulness in the past by defending Paro valley from Tibet incursions on several occasions. It now adorns ornate woodwork carvings, paintings, and statues from the time period. The most magnificent photographs may be taken from the Nyamai Zam wooden bridge, which is located right below the Dzong.
Drukgyal Dzong, once a castle and now a Buddhist monastery, lay in ruins for a long period after a fire in the 1950s. It is currently being reconstructed in order to return it to its former glory and renown. This old stronghold, located in the top section of the Paro area, offers spectacular views of the Chomolhari mountains. In short, it is one of the best places to visit in Paro which you will truly love to explore.
The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of Paro's must-see attractions. The temple is full of religious significance and is one of the oldest in the Himalayan region. The temple is enhanced by a large garden brimming with many bright flowers and apple trees. Aside from its charm and elegance, the temple and its grounds are immaculately maintained. Inside the temple, there is also an orange tree. Surprisingly, it produces fruit throughout the year. Kyichu Lhakhang's twin temples are the attractions of 7th century and one of the kingdom's most holy shrines. According to tradition, King Songten Gampo miraculously built it in one night.
Chele La Pass, one of the highest observation points, is a two-hour drive from Paro, covering about 37 kilometers. In the winter, you'll pass frozen rivers, waterfalls, alpine flowers, and snow on your journey to the pass. Take in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys from the city's highest point, while keeping an eye out for the iconic Himalayan yaks grazing on the horizon.
In Paro, you can have many outdoor activities. The following are the worth doing while holidaying in this city.
One of the best things to do in Paro is to hike to Taktshang Monastery. If you don't hike Taktsang Monastery, you missing to have a lifetime experience. A walk to the Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger Nest and established in honor of Guru Padmasambhava, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget. The walk to this monastery, which takes about 2 or 3 hours and is surrounded by lush green Alpine trees and breathtaking mountain depth, takes about 2 or 3 hours. Enjoy your walk to Taktsang over the winding roads. You will be accompanied by a magnificent green alpine forest. The vibrant prayer flags that adorn the ceiling will enchant you and make you feel as if you've arrived in heaven. In short, you will like the entire journey to the Monastery.
Visitors are delighted with multicolored rhododendrons, views of snow-capped summits, twisting terrains, and mesmerizing Himalayan slopes while driving to Chele Pass. Visitors who prefer to take in the spectacular views from the comfort of their own vehicle can hire local taxis and travel to the Chele Pass. Hike up to this pass to savour its enticing appeal if you're looking for exciting things to do in Paro. Chele La Pass, one of the highest observation sites, is a two-hour, 37-kilometer trip from Paro. On your way to the pass in the winter, you'll encounter frozen rivers, waterfalls, alpine flowers, and snow. From the city's highest point, take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys while keeping a lookout for the trademark Himalayan yaks grazing on the horizon.
One of the most fascinating things to do in Paro is to visit Bhutan's beautiful heritage, the National Museum of Bhutan which was formerly a watchtower. This watchtower, also known as the 'Ta Dzong', is a circular architectural marvel with irregular windows that dates back to 1649. It was built as a shield to protect the dzong and then served as a prison until being refurbished into a museum that today includes Thangka paintings, antique weapons, 17th-century household goods, rare artifacts, traditional things, and some Stone Age possessions.
Enjoy local Bhutanese delicacies in Paro, indeed the most delicious! During the time of your visit to this beautiful city, you can just bump into some local food or try to taste several foods; in either case, some of the most delicious dishes can be greeted and treated. While Bhutanese food is not as high with spices, their way of preparing it is very succulent and mouthwatering because of the hospitality of the local residents. To add, make sure that you have a bite in 'Ema Datshi', Bhutan's national food, while you feast on Bhutanese delicacies.
One of the most enjoyable pastimes in Paro is shopping at the Paro Market. Wander around Bhutan's bustling market to see a variety of handcrafted goods. Handicrafts, woollen clothing, jewellery, artwork, and textiles are all good choices. The market, on the other hand, is a little packed in the morning when most visitors come to see what's new.
Enjoy a thrilling rafting excursion on the Paro Chhu river's raging rapids. Prepare yourself with the necessary safety equipment before embarking on a voyage through the white-water rapids. Before crossing the Boulder Choke, warm up for the first couple miles. Feel the rush of excitement as you descend below the Choke, where the scenery is stunning and the rapids are more difficult. At Village Chuzom, reach the confluence of the Paro and Thimphu rivers. You can either finish your quest here or bravely face the hardships of the huge Wang River.
Aro Valley is a great spot to go if you're looking for spirituality and peace of mind. Regardless matter where you are in the valley, you will always be close to one or more of these attractions. Visiting these sites not only brings you closer to Bhutanese traditions and beliefs, but it also provides many opportunities to learn about Lord Buddha's teachings. You can explore religious sites like Drukgyal Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Dra Karpo, Taktsang Monastery, Tamchoe Monastery, Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang Temple, Dzongdrakha Goemba, Kila Goempa, Kyichu Lhakhang and more. In short, exploring the monasteries and the other religious sites will be too fun.
Bhutan is one of the fortunate countries to see seasonal changes. Summer, winter, spring, and fall all have unique months, making Bhutan's climate enchanting and an ideal year-round visit. Paro is also worth visiting at any season, and visitors may expect something different depending on when they arrive. However, the town is the best visited in the spring, from March to May, when the valleys are ablaze with blooming flowers. Its festivals and celebrations, clear skies and views of the Himalayan peaks, blooming Himalayan flora and fauna, or just stunning snowfall are all reasons to visit. Due to the rains, June through August is considered the low season, making trekking less feasible.