Paro

 

Latitude - 7ºN 
Longitude - 89ºE 

Latitude

Population - 39,800 (1980) 
 

Information about Paro
Paro is the gateway to the country of Bhutan. Situated in the Paro Valley of Eastern Himalaya, the town is full of legends, heroism, and natural splendour. If there would be a place where nature and

man conjured to create their clearest and cleanest image, it must be the Paro valley in Bhutan. The town is located at an altitude of 2,250 m above the sea level with river flowing gently on its side and making it the most beautiful valley in the country. Though, the capital of Bhutan is Thimphu, but for a longer time of the history Paro had the control of this part of the country. The town of Paro in western Bhutan attracts tourists due to its scenic locales, beautiful landscapes, wooded villages and historic buildings. The Paro valley is unique in beauty and in history. The only airport of Bhutan is located in Paro. To the north, Mount Chamolhari (Mountain of the Goddess), reigns in white glory and the waters from its “five sisters” peaks passes through deep gorges, finally meeting in the end to form the Paro Chu river that nourishes the rice fields and apple and peach orchards.

History of Paro
Paro is a place full of legends and history and events which marked the beginning of great cultural heritage of the country. According to legends, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) came on the back of a tigress to Paro in 761 AD, bringing with him the teachings of Buddha from Tibet. Guru Rinpoche established the most important religious site in Bhutan, the Taktsang Lhakang or Tiger's Nest near Paro. Religious leaders of Paro controlled Western Bhutan for quite a long time and Nyingmapa School established by Guru Rinpoche gave great monks and able leaders (the present monarchy also belong to same school). Zhabdrung Ngwang Namgyal arrived in Bhutan in 1616 from Tibet and established the dual system of governance here that remained in place till the beginning of last century. At the end of 19th century Penlop of Paro was defeated by Penlop of central and eastern Bhutan, who later became the first king of the country.

Climate of Paro
Paro is the part of a country that displays more climatic changes in a small area than any other part of the world. While the day temperature in this region can go up to 15.5 ºC, night temperature can go below the freezing point. The mid December to mid January, is a beautiful experience here with clear blue sky and dry climate. Summers are warm and wet and visibility is very low during this season. Autumn, October through November, is very mild with clear skies. The best time to visit Paro is spring when weather is at its best and blooming colours of nature makes it an unimaginable destination.

Accommodation in Paro 
Hotel Olathang is built on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Paro valley. This hotel offers accommodation in the main building and in 14 cottages spread over 43 acres.  

Adventure in Paro
Trekking, hiking, and nature and bird watching are some of the activities in Paro Valley that can be taken in Paro. 

Festivals in Paro
Paro Tshechu, celebrated in the spring season at Paro Dzong is perhaps most famous event that takes place in Bhutan. Celebrated in remembrance of Guru Rimpoche's arrival in Paro Valley in the 8th century AD, the festival is one of the purest manifestations of traditional Bhutanese traditions. Main attractions of the festival are mask dance and music performances of lamas enacting the events of the past. 

Shopping in Paro
Weekend bazaars and small shops sell precious stones brought from Tibet and India, local weaving products, local vegetables and fruits, antique silverware, and old Tibetan coins. 

Tourist Attractions in Paro 
The various tourist attractions in Paro are the National Museum, Philatellic Gallery, Taktsang Monastery, Rinpung Dzong and Thongdroel. Kichu Lhakhang, one of the kingdom’s oldest and most sacred temples and Dungtse Lhakhang are other tourist attractions in Paro. The National Museum is the main tourist attraction in Paro. This national museum is housed in Ta dzong which is an ancient watchtower. The Philatellic Gallery near the top of the museum is also one of the great tourist interest. This gallery contains a large collection of stamps. The Taktsang Monastery means the Tiger’s Nest. This monastery is the most important religious site for the Bhutanese people, and located at a distance of around 80 km from Paro, precariously perched on the edge of a cliff. The Taktsang monastery is a pilgrimage place that every Bhutanese tries to visit at least once in a lifetime.