Scenic views on way to Drukyel Dzong (WP207) in the Paro Valley
17th April 2009: We left Thimpu early today at 5:00am and planned a day-trip to Paro valley and the Dukyel Dzong. We arrived in Paro at 6:20 am; but the small town was not yet awake and the streets were deserted and the shops were still closed. We decided to go ahead to Drukyel Dzong first and see Paro, on our way back.
Paro main square (WP203) with misty clouds and a light drizzle
Drukyel Dzong is 16 Kms beyond Paro further NW in the Paro valley. There the ruins of Dzong built in 1644 by Zhabdung Namgyal as a "Fortress of Victorious Drupkas" to celebrate victory over invading Tibetans. the Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 and so now only the shell remains. On a cloudless day you can see the impressive Mt. Jhomolhari (24000 ft) from here. Many treks trails, including the famous Snowman Trek, starts from in Drukyel. The diversion right to go to Taktsang Gompa (Tiger's Nest) is about 10Kms from Paro on the road to Drukyel Dzong.
The ruins of the Drukyel Dzong (WP207) seen ahead as we near the site
Jhomolhari range - from the Drukyel Dzong
View from the trek trails just beyond Drukyel Dzong
Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) at 9700 ft - a climb of 3000 ft; we didnt go there
We got back to Paro at 9:15am. The town was now up and about now and there were people and cars around in the streets. We had a nice breakfast in a hotel in Paro, in the main street square. After lunch we crossed the river and headed for Ta Dzong - the National Museum of Bhutan.
Paro's Ta Dzong - The National Museum (WP210)
The Museum, consisting of 4-5 levels, contains Bhutanese handicrafts, stuffed animals, silver works, arms, statues etc. From the gardens outside the Ta Dzong we got a beautiful aerial view of the entire Paro town and valley, as in picture below:
Paro Valley ... looking down from Ta Dzong
From the road below Paro Dzong ... the airport Runaway is in line!
Paro Dzong and Paro River . . . . . as we leave town