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Paro

Taktsang Monastery

Our tour concluded with a two-hour hike up to Bhutan’s most famous, the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang monastery. The Tiger’s Nest, built on the rock face of a cliff, requires some effort to reach (with a 2,165-foot elevation gain), but it is a trip worth making. 

This lovely Bhutanese spiritual heart was built near the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated for three months.

Paro Valley

If ever a place exists where nature and man consulted to create their dearest image, it must be the valley of Paro. To the north, Mount Jumolhari reigns in sacred glory. Paro valley is one of the most populated areas of the whole country and contains a wealth of attractions, and also has the largest international Airport in the country. 

Chelela Pass

3988m At 3988 meters high, Chele La pass is the highest motor-able pass in western Bhutan. Chele La offers an abundance of flora and fauna, multi-colored wish fulfilling prayer flags and spectacular views towards the holy peaks – Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and a host of other peaks.

Dzongdrakha Lhakhang

Dzongdrakha celebrates an annual Tsechu (festival) the day before and the day after the Huge Paro Tsechu, which is held at Rinpung Dzong. During the Dzongdrakha festival, one of the main blessings is when the chorten (stupa) of the previous Buddha is opened, allowing people to be blessed by the relic held within.

We hiked up to the Dzongdrakha Temple. We could hear the monks chanting.

Paro International Airport

Bhutan’s Paro Airport is the only international terminal in the Himalayan country. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s most difficult airports for pilots, and is located in a river valley outside of its namesake town.

The surrounding geography and the quickly changing conditions make landing and departing difficult. As an added safety measure, flights are postponed if weather is bad, and all takeoffs and landings occur during daylight hours. Operations shut down at night.

Drukgyel Dzong

The ruins of Drukgyel tell the story of medieval warriors defending Bhutan from northern invaders. It was originally built to protect this route from possible Tibetan raids. The Dzong, surrounded by the snowy peaks of the High Himalayas including the sacred Jhomolhari, served as an administrative center, until burned down in a fire in 1951 which left it in ruins with only its central tower (utse) standing.

Rinpung Dzong

The magnificent Paro Dzong, perched on a hilltop overlooking the Paro Chhu, is one of Bhutan’s strongest and most important fortresses, having repelled several attacks from Tibet.

Dzongs developed as fortified monasteries in Bhutan which performed military, administrative and religious functions by housing monastic communities as well as civil administration. The Paro Dzong is the symbolic center of religious and secular affairs of the Paro Valley.

Ta Dzong – Bhutan National Museum

The museum provides an intriguing insight into Bhutan’s development from the Stone Age to the modern era. The museum’s aims to serve as a repository for valuable artifacts and historical objects that are invaluable in documenting the nation’s cultural heritage. The museum’s vast collection of the finest in Bhutanese artworks will appeal to anyone with an interest in the art of the region. A distinctive bridge between the past and the present of Bhutan, the National Museum always makes an impression on the visitor.

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