Bhutan has gradually become a popular tourist destination. And if you are visiting Bhutan, you can't possibly miss the lovely city of Paro. Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, it is definitely a must visit! A perfect mix of culture, beauty, nature and history, Paro offers you an experience unlike another. Do visit the unofficial Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest, which is a delight for trekkers and explorers! Located on a hill, the trek to this monastery is something you'll always remember. Do carry water, wear proper shoes before you start your trek lest the number of halts increases your trek time. Another wonderful place to visit is the National Museum of Bhutan which is located in a former watch tower and hosts a collection of artefacts tracing the history of Bhutan. Among other places to visit, Rinpung Dzong and Drakhapo are definitely worth visiting. The Paro market is also a great place to explore and makes for a perfect location for an evening stroll. If you don't want to stay in the city, Paro is where you should head to. The lush valleys here are a delight to explore and the streams and meadows are nothing less than a postcard.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Paro is from September to October
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
We started the trek from the base which seemed daunting initially. It took about 2 hours to climb and was worth all the effort. Since no gadgets are allowed inside the premises I couldn't manage to click pictures. There are temples and prayer rooms elaborately decorated with murals and other artworks in vibrant colours depicting mythical legends. Pilgrims and tourists offer money, food and utility goods in worship and burn butter lamps and incense. The cave inside the mountain is the highlight with narrow wooden ladders leading you deep within. The end point was minuscule, lit by a ray of light emerging from a crack in the rocks. I spent the most peaceful 15 mins of my life there. Never had I perceived such tranquility. How I wish I could be transported to that state of bliss again.
Also known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery, it is the biggest attraction for travellers through the world. It sits perched on a cliff and has immense significance for Buddhists worldwide. It is believed that Yeshe Tsogval who was a follower of Guru Rinpoche (Lord Padmasambhava), transformed herself into a tigress and carried Guru Rinpoche on her back from Tibet to Taktsang. It was one of nine caves where he meditated.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery
Taktshang Monastery a.ka. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, is undoubtedly Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Aberrantly hanged on the edge of a 1000m cliff in the Paro Valley, it makes an impressive sight. The temple was built in 1692, around the cave where Guru Rinpoche said to have meditated for three years in the 8th century.
This monastery hangs on a precipitous cliff about 900 metres above the Paro valley.it is also known as Tiger's nest. It got its name from a legend which says that Padmasambhava (Guru who meditated in this place) flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a tigress from Khenpajong. This place was consecrated to tame the Tiger demon.The scenic beauty and the location of this monastery is astounding and if lucky you can spot a snow leopard in the neighbouring area during winters.PLACE- 10 km trek from Paro valley, Bhutan.
Taktsang Lhakhang (Tiger's Nest) Paro
For all those who have done the hike for the Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu, India, here's a familiar site for you to experience! Tiger's Nest is the most visited place in Bhutan, and there's a reason for it. Every day multitude of people from across the world come for the (nearly) 2 hour trek to the Tiger's Nest to witness the beautiful temples located on the hilltop. A great place to meet new people, make friends on the way (if you're up for it), enjoy the view from the Valley Point (approx. 10% from Taktsang), get an opportunity to climb 900 stairs (beginning from the Valley Point) and experience the beauty the place has to offer. What I didn't like however was that although there is a cafe at the midpoint for one to have food and beverages (alcohol included), the cafe only had a Buffet lunch at INR 475 and had nothing else to offer. A lot of foreigners were of course enjoying a sumptuous meal while on their way back. It is only at such sights that I end up missing India. Who knows what kind of Pav Bhaji, road side Chat, Paratha, Rajma Chawal and what not vendors would have been there serving their delicacies if it was India! But what was perhaps the most beautiful thing I saw at the place was this 82 year old Tibetan lady doing the entire walk uphill on her own using just a cane and the support of her granddaughter. Kudos to the human spirit which at times act as an inspiration for all of us to make sure that we keep walking.
Tiger's Lair Temple
My final stop was the one structure that is synonymous with Bhutan, The Tiger's Nest or Taktsang Monastery. Located at 12000 feet, a climb which takes you on a spiritual trail with amazing views and a sense of greatness. What kept me going despite an injured knee was the fact that the monastery was a training spot for Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. My journey was complete with strong winds and a slight drizzle of snow, to give me a perspective of life like never before. A must visit. The first proper view of the monastery from the opposite edge of the cliff equals the first glimpse I had of Petra in Jordan. I still wonder why this is not considered a wonder.
Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred shrine is situated in the Paro Valley. The temple was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songsten Gampo. It is considered to be one of the 108 temples built by him to subdue a demon that prevented the spread of Buddhism.
Opening hours 9am-5pm It is said that, no trip to Bhutan is complete without visiting Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzong-Paro Dzongkhag. At this place you may perhaps find the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. Overall its a well preserved fortress & friendly place of interest. One can have a aerial view of Paro with beautiful valley & terraced farmland. An interesting side note: scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci's 1995 film Little Buddha were filmed here.
Constructed in the year 1974 for the coronation of the Fourth King of Bhutan, this hotel has that flavor of Bhutanese architecture. What makes this place magnificent is that it is built on 28 acres of land on top of a hill and has an amazing view of the entire city of Paro. Lovely place to stay. Note: This place is also located on a hill and cabs from Paro usually cost around Rs 100 to drop.
Paro Rinphung Dzong
The Grand, Rinchen Pung Dzong is one of Bhutan’s most impressive monastery and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. The present dzong was built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after he dismantled the then existing Dzong built by Drung Gyal in 15th century, which was known as Hungrel Dzong.
The charmtown Paro lies on the banks of the Paro (or Pa) Chhu, just a short distance northwest of the imposing Paro Dzong. The main street, only built in 1985, is lined with colourfully painted wooden shop fronts and restaurants, though these appear under threat as the town grows and multistorey concrete buildings continue to propagate. For now Paro remains one of the best Bhutanese towns to explore on foot and is worth an hour or two's stroll at the end of a day of sightseeing. A tourism galore in all sense. National Museum, Philatellic Gallery, Taktsang Monastery, Rimpung Dzong and Thongdroel. Kyichu 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.