Bhutan Diaries #6: Introducing Paro

The beautiful valley of Paro is one of the widest in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The river Paro Chuu, with its crystal clear waters flows through this picturesque valley covered in fertile rice fields.WP_20160131_008

As we drove past the country’s sole international airport,WP_20160129_066 our taxi driver mentions that this tiny airport nestled among the steep mountains of the Himalayas, features in the list of the `10 most dangerous airport landings’ and that only eight pilots are qualified to land here!

At the bottom of the valley lies the town of Paro, along the banks of the  Paro Chuu.

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Paro town lies on the banks of the Paro Chuu. Seen in the distance is the Paro Dzong and towards the left, on the hilltop is the National Museum.

The main street of the town is lined with plenty of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. We decided on exploring this town by foot and started walking towards the Paro Dzong. On the way, we passed some stupas with ornate paintings.

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Th  Rinpung Dzong  overlooks the Paro valley. It’s a fortress with massive walls over looking the town and is visible from all over the valley. Here again, we crossed a cantilever bridge to enter the dzong.DSC04278

Sitting on the stone walls of the dzong we got some spectacular valley views. Being winter, the valley was in shades of brown and in the coming months will turn into a carpet of green.

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The cantilever bridge that we crossed earlier to get here.

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From behind the Rinpung Dzong, a road leads you up to the hilltop where an old watch tower houses the National Museum. At the time of our visit, this building was under renovation and the artifacts housed in the opposite building. This museum takes you on a journey through Bhutanese heritage, culture and the bio diversity seen in the country. An interesting place, definitely worth a visit!

From here we traced our way back, down the path to the dzong and towards the town, enjoying good views of the valley.

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View of the Rinpung  Dzong from the top of the hill.
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A Panoramic view of Paro valley – to the extreme left is the international airport.
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