Day 112: Paro
We drive in past the airport, so neat, tidy and largely uncontaminated by aircraft that it looks like a toy lay-out. Northeast of the airport and commanding the valley are the imposing white walls of the Paro dzong. Like the fortress at Drukyel, where we ended our trek from Jomolhari, it was built in the 1640s, in the flush of national victory over the Tibetans. By coincidence, it also suffered a serious fire, being virtually razed to the ground in 1915. Unlike the Drukyel dzong, it was restored to its former glory after a special tax was levied throughout the country. Its two longest walls extend for some 500 feet (150 m) and taper gracefully upwards in the Tibetan style. The uppermost of its five storeys have long windows, the main ones projecting out from the wall, and all surrounded by finely carved frames and lintels. A band of ochre paint connects them all up and marks it out as a religious as well as administrative building.
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- Series: Himalaya
- Chapter: Day 112: Paro
- Country/sea: Bhutan
- Place: Paro
- Book page no: 255
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