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Rinpung Dzong Paro

Rinpung Dzong Paro, affectionately called Paro Dzong, was established in 1646. Like most Bhutan Dzongs, it's both an administrative and monastic centre. In English, Rinpung Dzong translates to ‘Fortress on a pile of jewels’.

Visitors come to Rinpung Dzong in Paro for its splendid architecture, surrounding views, and the National Museum of Bhutan.

Rinpung Dzong Paro, National Museum of Bhutan_Attractions_Rinpung Dzong_1_@milica_grujic_

Credit: @milica_grujic

Rinpung Dzong Paro Architecture

Rinpung Dzong Paro is a Himalayan Buddhist Monastery with typical Bhutanese Dzong architecture. One of its charms is that it sits majestically high up on a steep hillside. Although it has fourteen shrines and chapels, majority of them are not open to visitors. The inner monastic quarter is home to around 200 monks.

Right outside the main dzong is the Deyangkha Temple. Below the dzong, there is the iconic traditional cantilever bridge. Built in 1649, a historical watchtower fortress above the Dzong is now the National Museum of Bhutan.

Bhutanese regard Rinpung Dzong as one of the most supreme and important architectures in the kingdom.

Rinpung Dzong Paro, National Museum of Bhutan_Attractions_Rinpung Dzong_2_@itshimali

Credit: @itshimali

Festivals at Rinpung Dzong Paro

Rinpung Dzong Paro holds a delightful dance festival (tshechu) every year. It runs from the 11th to the 15th day of the second month of Bhutanese calendar (around March or April). Running continuously every year since 1644, it’s arguably the most popular festival and event in Bhutan.

Rinpung Dzong Paro, National Museum of Bhutan_Attractions_Rinpung Dzong_3_Dance of the Lord of Death

Credit: Jean-Marie Hullot

At this festival, visitors can witness the iconic traditional Bhutanese masked dances. Monks would perform these hypnotic dances that communicate religious and cultural stories. It’s one of the most entertaining ways to understand Bhutanese culture & history. 

On the last day of the festival, the organisers  will display a huge Thangkha (embroidered painting of Buddhist art) to the crowd. It has always been the crown of the show and has never failed to blow visitors away.

Fascinating Facts of Rinpung Dzong

  • Bhutan has tentatively listed Rinpung Dzong for submission into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Scenes from the 1993 movie Little Buddha starring Keanu Reeves, Chris Isaak and Bridget Fonda were actually filmed here.
  • Many people find some similarity between Rinpung Dzong and the iconic Potala Palace in Tibet