Paro Dzong

Landmark in Bhutan

Paro Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. The Paro Dzong was built in 1644 under the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Paro Dzong full name is Rinpung Dzong, which means the fortress of the heap of jewels." Gyelchock founded Paro Dzong.

Gyelchock and his brother, Gyelzom, is the descendant of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, the founder of the Drukpa Kagyupa School in Bhutan. Gyelzom established the Gangtakha Monastery while Gyelchock traveled to Tibet to study theology.

Upon Gyelchock’s return from Tibet, he was not respected by the community and denounced by this brother because he is considered a pauper or beggar. Gyelchock moved to Humrelkha, a place that took its name from the guardian deity of Paro, Humrel Gyalpo. He built a five-storied tower, which would later become the Paro Dzong. It is believed that the base of the cliff was the La Tsho (soul lake) of the deity Jag Wog Nep. In 1644, Gyelchock, "The Lord of Humrel", relinquished his small fort to zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel

In 1906, during the time of the 23rd Penlop Dawa Penjor, the Dzong was almost burnt almost to the ground. All-important relics were lost to the fire, and nothing could be salvaged except for the Thongdrol, a 20 x 20 metre-wide Thangka. The Thangka is displayed annually during Paro Tshechu. 

The annual Paro Tshechu is held from the 9th till the 15th of the 2nd month every year. Tenzin Rabgy first introduced this ceremony in 1678. The highlight of the Tshechu is the Thongdol, which is believed to deliver from all sins. The Thongdol was built by Lama Nawang and saved from the fire of 1906. Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal and Karma Rigzin Nyingpo, the reincarnation of Terteon Sangay Lingpa, consecrated the Dzong.