Kapoors Year 8: Scotland/India/Bhutan travel blog

The Gantey Valley Was The Furthest East That We Travelled, It Was...

We Stopped For Meals And Bio Breaks At Government-Approved Rest Houses Along...

After Eating, We Took A Few Moments To Admire The Residents And...

As There In Only One Highway In Bhutan, We Had To Pass...

We Were Pointed In A Different Direction Now, So The Various Valleys...

I Love To See The Patterns Formed By The Terraced Fields, Whether...

This Time We Were Often Driving On The 'Outside' Of Precipitous Turns,...

When We Retuned To The Dochu La Pass, The High Himalayas Were...

We'd Been So Lucky To See Them On A Cloudless Day On...

An Hour Later We Reached The Capital Once Again, Passing Through The...

I Asked The Driver To Stop So I Could Capture The Bhutanese...

We Sped Through The City And Drove On Towards Paro, Stopping For...

It Was Getting Late In The Day And We Were Getting Tired...

We Had The Option Of Stopping To Visit The Paro Dzong, But...

Our Hotel Was Situated Near The Paro Airport, But It Was Quiet...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet website has to say about the Paro Dzong:

“The Paro Dzong is one of Bhutan's most impressive and well-known dzongs, and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. The dzong's Buddhist name means 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels'.

In 1644 Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal ordered the construction of the dzong on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. The fort was used on numerous occasions to defend the Paro valley from invasions by Tibet. The British political officer John Claude White reported that in 1905 there were old catapults for throwing great stones stored in the rafters of the dzong's veranda.

Below the dzong, a traditional wooden covered bridge spans the Paro River. This is a reconstruction of the original bridge, which was washed away in a flood in 1969. Earlier versions of this bridge were removed in time of war to protect the dzong.

An interesting side note: scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci's 1995 film Little Buddha were filmed here.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

It is unfortunate that there is only one main east-west highway in Bhutan, because it meant that we had to travel back along the same route we had taken since the beginning of our explorations of the country. It also meant that we had to face the washboard sections again as well, in the areas where the road was torn up by the comings and goings of the huge trucks hauling sand and equipment for the construction of the new gravity dam.

The one good thing was that scenery tends to look a little different when you are coming at it from a different direction.

We did not visit the Paro Dzong; I guess we were more than a little ‘dzonged-out’ by this point of our trip. We wanted to focus our attention on our hike to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ instead.

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