Paro Dzong is the administrative seat of Paro district. Paro Dzong, officially known as Rinpung Dzong, ‘Fortress of Heap of Jewels" was built in 1644 under the order of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It got its name due to its large collection of treasured buildings.
Rinpung Dzong is an ancient fortress in traditional Bhutanese architecture with a complex of courtyards, temples, administration offices and open space surrounded by towering walls. All the buildings are equipped with huge windows with elaborate wooden carvings of traditional Bhutanese motifs. Paro Dzong is considered one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture and it’s one of the top tourist attractions in Bhutan. You can see this impressive dzong as you are landing in Paro Airport. Rinpung Dzong is easily accessible, with only a 15-minute walk from Paro town.
During the 17th and 18th century, Paro Dzong was an important bastion for the Kingdom of Bhutan against invasion from the north. At present, it houses the monastic body and government offices, and serves as the religious, military, administrative, and social centers of their district.
This magnificent Rinpung Dzong is the location for some scenes from the ‘Little Buddha’ movie directed by Bernardo Bertolucci filmed in 1993. Rinpung Dzong is also the venue for the Bhutanese religious festival, Paro Tshechu, held annually. Paro Tshechu is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan for locals and tourists alike. The Paro Tshechu is held annually from the 9th till the 15th day of the 2nd month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar (usually in March or April). The highlight of the Tshechu is the masked dance performances in honour of Guru Rinpoche and the unfurling of thongdrol, a large Buddhist scroll depicting the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava, on the last day.
Check out the Paro Tshechu Festival itinerary.