BHUTAN: A Photo Diary

Paro, the name has a poetic element in it. The very sound of it conjures up an image of a young girl in my mind, lively and beautiful, just like the river. This photo essay will take you through the spectacular Paro Valley in Bhutan, named after the river, Paro Chu, which runs through it.

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River Paro, the river and the road run parallel to each other.

The district located in western Bhutan serves as the gateway for travelers who fly to the ‘Land of Thunder Dragons’. However, I traveled by road. So, Phuentsholing was the entry point for me.

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Soft white clouds hung over the valley

Known for its scenic beauty, Paro has a lot to offer to nature lovers. Gargling river, verdant valley surrounded by green mountains, and picturesque Bhutanese houses dotting the landscape, everything add to the charm of this peaceful land.

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Picturesque Bhutanese houses on green slopes
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Peach flowers in bounty.

White peach flowers are bountiful in this part of Bhutan. You’ll see them blooming everywhere – in the orchards, along the roadside fences, and in the monastery premises.

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Five rice fields

It was summer when I visited Paro. The lush green rice field set the perfect backdrop for these cottages.

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Paro Chu

We drove all the way to Paro from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. It was a 2-hour journey, which never felt boring. After entering the district this is the first spot where you can get close to the river, Paro. I dipped my feet in the cool waters and sprinkled some on my face. It was so refreshing!

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View from the hotel

We crossed the residential neighborhoods and downtown market area and drove to our hotel, Mandala Resort Garden. It was located in the hills just outside the town and naturally, offered a panoramic view of the valley.

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Kichu Lhakhang (Kichu Monastery)

After a quick meal at the hotel, I set out to find what Paro had in store for me. Our first stop was Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest monastery in Paro.

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Entering Drukgyel Dzong

Next, we visited Drukgyel Dzong, a medieval fortress-cum-monastery, which was attacked and destroyed by the Tibetan invaders hundreds of years ago.  Legend says it was set on fire by the enemies. As I entered the deserted compound, its broken walls, and charred doors and windows gave me goosebumps.

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Entrance of National Museum

National Museum of Bhutan is a must-see in Paro. From local art and culture to flora and fauna of the region, the museum exhibits many things about Bhutan under one roof.

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Paro Market

The museum building itself is a work of art, but what I liked most about this place is the magnificent view that it offers.

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Paro Valley looks beautiful from the museum premises

It was already 5:30 in the afternoon. So, we headed towards the main market in Paro.

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Bhutanese handicrafts shop in Paro Market

With exquisite traditional architecture lining the streets, shops selling Tibetan antiques, Bhutanese handicrafts and textile, kids playing around, and young men and women in traditional robes, the market is a happening place.

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Kids playing at the central plaza
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Paro Market in the afternoon

Whether you go shopping or not, the clean roads, beautiful buildings, and scenic beauty all around make it an ideal place for an evening stroll.

About BHUTAN: A Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, it is a sovereign state in South Asia. It is a land of monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs), subtropical plains, steep mountains and valleys. There are various Bhutan tour packages that are available throughout the year, and considering that the state is known for its serene and medicating tourism there are endless options of hotels in Bhutan too. Here is a another useful link to help you know all about Bhutan Tourism.


About the Author: Moon is a content developer by profession and a travel blogger by passion. She loves exploring nature and scenic places and shares her travel experiences in her blog Footloose Forever. You can follow her stories on her Facebook page.