Explore the beautiful land of Paro
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Best time to visit
May - Nov
About Paro Destinations
Paro is a beautiful, postcard-worthy town in the Paro valley of Bhutanese Himalayas. It is the seat of administration for the Paro district. The main reasons behind its popularity are two – Paro is home to Bhutan’s only international airport and also to Bhutan’s most important monastery, the Tiger’s Nest. The international airport receives flights every day from major neighbouring cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bagdogra, Kathmandu, and Bangkok. This is by far the major reason behind Paro tourism influx.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Taktsang Monastery, is believed to be built on the cavern where Guru Rinpoche himself first arrived in Paro-Bhutan, on the back of a flying tigress, and meditated for three years and three months. Thus, this is a sacred shrine for all the followers of Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, and also one of the best places to visit in Paro. To reach here, one must trek a route which takes around 3-3.5 hours to complete. The difficulty is moderate, but the views are magnificent. Another such similar trek will take you to the ruins of fortress-monastery Drukgyel Dzong. There is something very haunting about every ruin that once had a significant role in the country’s past, and now only a skeleton of it stands. Drukgyel Dzong is no exception.
The city is a cobweb of medieval dzongs and monasteries, hiding within themselves ages of tantric secrets, ancient paintings, and sculptures and lots and lots of stories. It is hard to tell where the history ends and the legends begin in this local folklore, but they are extremely interesting to know. There are stories of temples like Dungtse Lhakhang being built on the head of a demoness or a serpent, while the Kyichu Lhakhang is believed to have been built to defeat an ogress. The Paro Dzong itself has a lot of history and special artifacts like sacred masks, weapons, and jewels that it is said to be housing within its holy walls. Consulting a Paro travel guide will give a better and complete idea about what other similar places there are to explore the mythical side of Bhutan.
Nevertheless, all these places should definitely be included in Paro-Bhutan sightseeing for a complete glimpse into the town’s fabric. One must not forget to visit the National Museum atop a hill. This was originally a watchtower called Ta Dzong and has been converted to a museum with an extensive collection of Bhutanese history and culture since 1967.
Monasteries and shrines are not the only things to see in Paro. The main thing about Paro is its dynamic nature. And staying true to it, the town and its surroundings offer some spectacular trekking routes to go for an adventure. The Snowman Trek is one of the most exciting trails in entire Bhutan, and it starts from Paro. A visit to the Chele La Pass is also essential, to appreciate the beauty of the green valley from 13,000 ft. This is the highest navigable pass in Bhutan, and thus, it is an easy travelling and picnicking destination. For those who do not prefer walking while exploring, mountain biking is quite a popular adventure activity here. A trip to Paro is not complete without some shopping in the Paro Craft Market and indulging in the local cuisine. One can find the best handicrafts and locally sourced products in the craft market, while for enjoying a savouring dish of Ema Datshi with Aru and other Bhutanese delicacies, visit Bukhari restaurant – it is the best in town.
A trip to Paro is not complete without some shopping in the Paro Craft Market and indulging in the local cuisine. One can find the best handicrafts and locally sourced products in the craft market, while for enjoying a savouring dish of Ema Datshi with Aru and other Bhutanese delicacies, visit Bukhari restaurant – it is the best in town.
Travel To Paro
Read about the best & quickest routes to save time & money, as suggested by our travelers
There is a daily Kolkata to Paro flight operated by Bhutan’s national carrier Druk Air. Kolkata being the closest Indian metro-city to the country, this flight remains quite packed. There are frequent Mumbai to Paro and Delhi to Paro flights as well. The only other airport with direct flights to Paro is Bagdogra near Siliguri. However, some of these flights except the daily one from Kolkata are often layover flights. The flight, instead of being a straight 3-4 hours to Paro, becomes an extended one because of a stop-journey at Kathmandu or Bangkok, which are two other airports from where Paro receives international flight. So here’s how to reach Paro by flight if your itinerary schedule clashes with such a flight, the easier option is to take a flight to Kolkata and from there fly for only 1.5 hours to Paro airport without any hassle.
Since Bhutan is literally landlocked on three sides by India, many people wonder how to reach Paro via train. But one cannot reach Bhutan directly via Indian Railways. However, the best deal is travelling to Hasimara from Sealdah station of Kolkata or NJP station near Siliguri-Jalpaiguri. This station is only 17 km away from the Bhutan border at Phuentsholing. There are taxis, auto rickshaws and buses available from this station to the border. There, one has to show their identity and documentation, and then take another bus to Paro. Those travelling by road need to remember that even though an individual does not need a visa to enter Bhutan, to travel to places like Paro or Thimphu, they will need permission. If there is a private or hired car, it will require proper papers as well, which can be arranged by Indian agencies easily.
Going from India to Bhutan using the roadways is not very difficult. But to make the whole journey from distant cities like Mumbai or Delhi to Paro will be a very time-consuming thing to do. Instead one can fly to Kolkata and from there take the long-distance luxury buses to Bhutan. These buses go to Thimphu, from where one can take a 1.5-hour car ride to Paro. It takes a little more than 4 hours to travel from Kolkata to Paro. There are road routes from Siliguri and Bagdogra and some other North Bengal cities as well. All of these finally lead to the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border, from where it takes 4.5 hours to drive to Paro. On the Assam side, the two places where the border is open for entry are Samdrup Jongkhar and Galephu. Samdrup Jongkhar is the one closer to Guwahati, 2.5 hours’ drive away.
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FAQ's of Paro
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Yes, there are roadways to Paro from India via Phuentsholing border. There are buses and cabs from the border area that drop passengers to Paro.
One can visit all the other monasteries like Rinpung Dzong, Dungtse Lhakhang and the National Museum. In activities, there are trekking and biking routes to explore the wilderness of Bhutanese Himalayas.
Paro has the sole international airport of the country, as well as the significant monastery of Taktsang. Together, these two make Paro very important in Bhutan tourism.
The Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu) is the official currency of Paro and rest of Bhutan. However, Indian rupee notes and coins other than the newest 500 and 2000 rupee notes are not accepted.
The springtime from March to May and the autumn season from September to November are the best seasons to visit Paro.
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