RinpungDzong or otherwise the ‘fortress on the heap of jewels’ was created by Gyelchok, also the founder of Drukpa Kagyupa School. This happenedduring the 15th century. In later years, RinpungDzong controlled most of Paro valley. As you leave theParo airport, the fort will remain to the right,just atop a hill withits picturesque girder covered bridge hanging over the brook separating it from the main road.
In 1645, the small fort was passedon to ShabdrungNgawangNamgyel who transformed it to a bigger fortress and sanctified it the following year. It burnt down entirely in 1915 but it rebuilt instantaneously. Today, this place is also considered the administrative seat of Paro district. It also houses the first temporal and spiritual king of Bhutan, the Dzongis home to the monastic part of Paro, the office of Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district.
A visit to this Dzong is a must if only to view the stunningcarpentry in the central tower. In the second courtyard are two superb ‘mandalas’representing two different philosophies – the ‘Kalacakra’ or the ‘wheel of time’ and the ‘Abhidharmakosha’, a text written by Vasubandhu, the 5th century Indian scholar.