Drukgyal Dzong

Written by Cipto Handoyo

Located in the Phondey Village in Paro, the Dzong is built on the summit of a rocky hill that rises steeply on three sides. The Dzong was built to guard the approach to Paro Valley from Tibet and is only accessible from one side, which is defended by three prominent towers.

Probably it was Tenzin Drukdra built the Dzong in 1649 at the behest of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over an invasion from Tibet. In the early 1950s, Drukgyal Dzong was almost destroyed by fire.

Drukgyal Dzong means the "fortress of the victorious Drukpas" and is one of the four principal Dra Dzongs (defense fortress). The other defense fortresses are the Gasa Trashi Thongmon Dzong, Haa Damthang Dzong, and Lingzhi Dzong. Different historical accounts diverge as to the founder of Drukgyal Dzong.