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Paro is the name of a district (dzongkhag), valley, river and town (population 20,000) in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Its 27Â°30”²N, 89Â°20”²E. It is one of the most historic valleys in Bhutan. Both trade goods and invading Tibetans came over the pass at the head of the valley, giving Paro the closest cultural connection with Tibet of any Bhutanese district. Important cultural sites include:
Taktsang “Tiger’s Nest” : “Tiger’s Nest” monastery is spectacularly located on the side of a cliff 900m above the valley floor. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. There have been shrines at this sacred place for many centuries. The principal Lhakhang of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime. An excursion to Taktsang involves a steep climb up through pine forest and takes about five hours round trip.
Drukgyel Dzong, at the upper end of the valley, built to protect against invading Tibetans, but in ruins since a fire in the 1950s.
Paro Town, the single market town in the dzonghag which is booming (by Bhutanese standards) due to an influx of tourist dollars.
Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, the massive fortress/monastery which is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. Scenes from the movie Little Buddha were filmed in and around this dzong.
The National Museum of Bhutan, where visitors can learn about the culture of Bhutan.
Kyichu Lhakhang, which along with Jambay Lhakhang in central Bhutan is the oldest temple in Bhutan, dating to the 7th century Paro contains the only active international airport in Bhutan, the Paro Airport, a beautiful small green-roofed facility in a valley, served only by Druk Air (Bhutan’s National Airline) from India and other countries in Southeast Asia. Paro is bordered by Haa dzongkhag to the west, Tibet to the north, Thimphu to the east, and Chukha dzongkhag to the south.
Paro was featured on the NBC Today Show segment Where In The World Is Matt Lauer? on 2 May 2007.
Paro International Airport