Dragon Tales-Paro and a fort in ruins

Paro is a major district in Bhutan and has  historical and religious significance.It is also a picturesque fertile valley.  There are  over  155  monasteries and temples  in this place.I started off with a visit to  the Drukgyel Dzong   which means the Fortress of the victorious Drukpa.This is considered as one of the most famous archeological sites in Bhutan.

Dzongs are   unique Bhutanese fortresses which also serve as administrative  and monastic centres.Each district has a dzong and they are built at strategic locations mostly on the hill tops.Zhabdrung Ngwang Namgyal-the unifier of Bhutan is credited with building most of the major dzongs and he also established the dual system of governance.So each dzong  has a monastic center with temples ,schools , living quarters  and  administrative offices for the government officials.

Drukgyal dzong  was made in  the 16th century to commemmorate the victory over the invading Tibetan and Mongolian army.It also served as a major trade route as it was at a strategic site near the border with Tibet.It  was also supposed to have the best armory in the country.A major fire destroyed most of the fort in 1951 and  we see  only the ruins.Still it is impressive and worth a visit.

 

Singey  ,his wife Ugyen  and their kids Angel and Angela kept me company.A huge prayer wheel is at the  foot  of the  hill and from there it is a steep climb to the top.

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It took 10 minutes to reach the top.It was starting to get  dark and there was a chill in the air,adding to the suspense  ahead.

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View from the top

Finally reached the entrance  and I felt as if I have stepped into a bygone era.The whole place looked abandoned and a  little spooky.One can see the ravages of fire all around.Isn’t it ironic that this fort was never conquered by the enemy but was destroyed by  man made fire ?

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The Entrance

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Still Standing!

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Checkposts

 

 

 

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We went inside and could see only the  burnt  walls and woodwork.

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Singey informed that  this year the Prime Minister had announced  a  major renovation programme .

This fort is listed  as a tentative site in Bhutan tentative list  for UNESCO heritage sites.

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