Dragon Tales,Paro-A Dzong ,monks and movies.

Dzongs [pronounced as zong] are fine examples of the traditional Bhutanese architecture. Each district has a dzong which serve as administrative and monastic centres.  They also have temples and living quarters for the  monks. Most of them were built during the 17th century.I was surprised to know that they are built without nails or iron bars and   without any   blueprints.Then how were they made?A high ranking lama  will be calling the shots  and he would be guided by  spiritual inspiration.

Rinpung Dzong  is  a   majestic  golden domed  red and white building  dominating the Paro skyline .  Rinpung means   a heap of jewels.This impressive  fortress/monastery    had  also seen massive   earthquake and fire and what we see now is the rebuilt structure. Most of the treasures were lost in the  mishaps except  a precious tapestry Thongdrel.This is unfurled  once a year  during the Paro Festival and it is believed that seeing it can cleanse  you of all  your sins.Festival season is the best time to visit Bhutan and  the next festival will be from April 7-11.

4

Rinpung Dzong

11

 

Bhutanese people have to be in  their national dress to get inside  and they also have to wear a  silk scarf  known as Kabney [for men]  and Rachu[for women].I must say they look very elegant in this attire.There is no such dress code for the visitors.We just have to be  dressed appropriately-long sleeves,no shorts,no caps.

14

Men in gho and kabney and lady in kira and rachu

I was in no hurry to get inside and  spent time admiring the vibrant colours and the  intricate woodworks.

15

12

 

 

16

13

After going through the imposing  main door you will see  the    huge courtyards, winding corridors,central tower ,temples and living quarters for the monks.The entire structure is   breathtaking.For me Rinpung Dzong was the jewel in the crown of Paro.

unnamed 1unnamed5

19

COURTYARD

unnamed2

CENTRAL TOWER

 

21

MONASTIC QUARTERS

23

We have to climb a lot of stairs and some of them can be quite challenging.The ascent is fairly easy but the descent needs  lot of caution.Photography is not permitted inside the temple complex.

unnamed8

A VERTICAL NIGHTMARE-What goes up must come down !

Saw these student monks playing in the courtyard. They seemed  to be having  a good time and   I wondered  how many of them will go on to becoming lamas. Do they miss home? Is their curriculum tough?What if they can’t cope? What if they want to leave? I was very keen to talk to them.They are not shy and are quite used to  visitors.But this was their  recess and I did not want to disturb them.

unnamed7unnamed

unnamed3

YOU NEED A HAIR CUT,BUDDY

Seeing these young  lively monks     I was reminded of  a delightful  Tibetan movie Phorpa [The Cup].It is  about a  mischievous kid monk who is obsessed with football  and is set against   the 1998 Football  World Cup. It was made by a Lama and I think this could  be his own experience. It takes you to  the  unknown world of young monks and they are shown as they are- free spirited and natural. Another one I remember is  ‘Spring,Summer,Fall,Winter and Spring’-a Korean movie on the life of a monk with each season signifying a  stage in his life.

Paro Dzong and movies?Yes, few scenes from  ‘Little Buddha’ were shot here.

Advertisements