Bhutan's only international airport is located in Paro. The district is known for its fertile valleys and ancient religious sites. The place is considered the rice bowl of Bhutan from where the country's staple red rice comes.
Paro is steeped in historical significance. It was here where many battles were fought before the country was consolidated under the rule of the Wangchuck dynasty. Its strategic location, bordering Tibet, made it the boiling pot of old politics.
One of the most impressive fortresses of Bhutan -Paro Dzong- sits atop a scenic hill. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1649 and it helped the Bhutanese in defending their country’s sovereignty. And just above it is the country's National Museum called the Taa Dzong.
Some of the holy places in Paro include the Taktshang Monastery, Dungtse Lhakhang, Kyichu Lhakhang, and Ragoedrak Lhakhang. The Taktshang Monastery, or 'Tiger's Nest Monastery', sits on a rock cliff, some 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Legends say that Guru Padmasambhava flew to the cliff on the back of a tigress where he meditated for three months. However, it was only in 1684 that the monastery was built and the name ‘Taktshang’ given by the fourth Deb Raja Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye.
The ruins of Drukgyal Dzong or the ‘Victory Fortress’ is another fascinating site. Among the oldest and the grandest, the Drukgyal Dzong was built between 1647 and 1649 during the time of Zhabdrung to commemorate the victory of the Bhutanese over the Tibetan forces.
The five-day Paro tsechu is a major tourist attraction. It’s one of the biggest religious celebrations in the country. Paro also boasts several modern luxury hotels and resorts. The awesome seven-star Zhiwa Ling stands close by the upscale Amankora.