Paro, the gateway to Bhutan, is the district in western Bhutan. Many sacred and historical landmarks are scattered through the area.
1. Paro International Airport
The only international airport in Bhutan and one of the most dangerous airports in the world is located in a valley of 2,235 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by mountains as high as 5,500 metres. Only a few pilots are certified to land at the airport. Established as an airstrip by Border Roads Organization of India in 1968, the airport began its operation in 1983 with landing of the first 18-seat Dornier 228-200.
2. Rinpung Dzong
Drung Drung Gyal built a temple on the crag of Hungrel in the 15th Century. His descendants offered the temple Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. In 1644 the Zhabdrung dismantled the temple, built new Dzong as the administrative and monastic centre of the western region. The Dzong was named Paro Rinpung Dzong (Heap of Jewels Dzong) and appointed Tenzin Drukdra as the 1st Paro Poenlop after the construction of the Dzong was completed.
3. Ta Dzong
Ta Dzong, the round watch tower was built in 1649 by 1st Paro Poenlop Tenzin Drukdra to protect the Rinpung Dzong as the Dzong received assaults from Tibet. It was renovated in 1968 and turned into the National Museum of Bhutan. The museum displays significant artifacts representing history and culture from all over the Bhutan. It is also involved in exhibition, publications and conservation of artifacts.
4. Drukgyal Dzong
Drukgyal Dzong (Dzong of Victory) was built by Tenzin Drukdra in 1649 to commemorate victory over an invasion from Tibet. Since then, the Dzong was used as a summer residence by the Ringpung Manastic Body. 1951, the Dzong was completely damaged by fire and only the debris were left. The reconstruction of the dzong began in 2016 to commemorate the Royal Birth, the 400th anniversary of Zhabdrung’s arrival in Bhutan, and Guru Rinpochey’s birth year.
5. Dumtseg Lhakhang
The very rare stupa styled temple was built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyalpo, popularly known as Chagzampa who built 8 iron bridges across Bhutan. it was to subdue the demon that was located on the foundation of the temple and to proclaim the victory of Buddhism. In 1841, the 25th Jekhenpo Sherab Gyentshen renovated the temple.
Popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, Taktshang Monastery hangs on a precarious cliff at 3,120 metres. Tenzin Rabgye, the fourth Desi, built a temple devoted to Guru Padmasambhava in 1692. Padmasambhava, in the 8th century, is said to have flown on to this site on back of tigress from Singye Dzong, Lhuntse. n 1998, a fire broke out in the main building of the monastery. Restoration works were immediately undertaken at by the Royal under the guidance His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
7. Kyichu Temple
The Temple of Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo. It is considered to be one of the 108 temples he built in a day. Of numerous saints and masters who expanded in size and grandeur, the 25th Jekhenpo Sherab Gyentshen restored the temple in 1839. In 1968, Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck built the second temple alongside the first.