Rinpung Dzong is one of the most magical sites you can visit when in Bhutan. It is one of the larger Dzongs (Buddhist monastery) that also doubles up as a fortress. It is located in Paro district, and it belongs to the Kagyu school via the Drukpa lineage. Nearby, there is the 7-story fortress built in 1649 to act as a watchtower, which currently serves as the National Museum of Bhutan. Its surrounding structures beautifully showcase the Bhutan culture, years of history, and its architecture.
What makes it so unique
It is one of the locations you can visit to experience Bhutan architecture entirely. It is delicately constructed with attention to detail and it perfectly encapsulates the essence of Bhutan’s construction style. It has fourteen shrines and chapels, all of which have different attributes and functions.
Interestingly, some of the scenes of Little Buddha, a 1993 film, were shot here. Adjoined is the traditionally covered cantilever bridge. In addition to the aforementioned nearby fortress that houses the National Museum, the site, and its surroundings offer more than enough to satisfy even the most enthused adventurer or tourist.
Rinpung Dzong is a site bearing centuries of rich, textured history and its walls have a captivating story to tell. It started off as a small temple in the 15th century, but Drung Drung Gyal, its owner then, erected a 5-story Dzong, which was eventually dismantled and rebuilt as Rinpung Dzong by the Zhabdrung, its new owners. The Dzong was then crowned as the monastic and administrative center of the entire western area, and it houses Paro Dzongkhag’s governmental and monastic administrative offices to this day.
Activities in Rinpung Dzong
The Dzong hosts various festivals most notable among them being the “tshechu” which is held in between March and April. The festival is a mixture of dancing, and taking of holy images where the goal is to tell religious tales theatrically. The monks perform the festival for several days. You can time your visit to correspond to the festival. If you in luck, you can also get to experience a full ceremony in the Dzong and get to see monks in action doing chants, humming, and drumming.
The Dzong is charming and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area and river below that will blow your mind away. As you plan to experience all that it has to offer, at least, you now have valuable background knowledge of what it is all about, and what to expect.