Visit Rinpung Dzong — a fascinating structure located between a river and a hill that is both a Buddhist monastery and fortress and currently houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag.
Architecture-enthusiasts will love the Rinpung Dzong — one of Bhutan’s fortresses that were built in the 17th century to defend the country from Tibetan invaders. The fortress features a sprawling structure and surroundings, woodwork intricately carved with Bhutanese motifs, and paintings. The Dzong’s location also features an idyllic riverside backdrop, and everyone will be amazed by the melting pot of people — from monks, government officials, to students milling about the complex. At the same time, the Dzong is home to a priceless collection of sacred masks and costumes, and an incredible prayer wheel.
The Rinpung Dzong is located in Paro, Bhutan.
Opening Days and Hours
The Dzong is open every day from 08:00 to 18:00, and until 16:30 in the months of November to February. However, the offices and most chapels are closed during weekends.
Entry Fee and Bookings
Entrance to the Dzong is free.
How to Get There
- You can fly into Bhutan via the country’s sole international airport in Paro.
- From the Paro city centre, you can rent a car or motorbike and drive around 1 kilometre to Rinpung Dzong.
- Backpackers/solo travelers
- Group of friends
Time to Spend
You can explore the Dzong in 1 to 2 hours.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
You can opt to visit in the afternoon to catch the flag-lowering ceremony that happens at around 16:30. However, do note that if you arrive at around the same time as the King’s departure, you would have to wait for around 20 minutes to enter.
You can visit the following shrines and chapels inside the Dzong:
- Monks’ assembly hall
- Sandalwood Stupa
- Protector’s shrine
- Temple of the Guru’s Eight Manifestations
- Chapel of the head lama
- Chapel of Amitayus
- The Clear Crystal Shrine
- Chapel of the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara
- Apartments of the Abbot
- Chapel of the Akshobhya
- Temple of the Treasure Revealer
- Apartments of the King (Gyalpo’i Zimchung)
- Temple of the Bursar
Most of the restaurants are located more than a kilometre away, so it’s best to bring enough snacks and water for your visit.
- Paro River
- National Museum
- Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest)
- Taktsang Palphug Monastery
- Kyichu Lhakhang
- Chele La Pass
The nearest hotels are located more than 2 kilometres away from the Dzong. Options include the Pelri Cottages and Le Meridien Paro, Riverfront. Prices range from USD 48 to USD 249 per night.
Good to Know
A tshechu or a great annual festival is held at the Dzong from the 11th to the 15th day of the Bhutanese lunar calendar’s second month — which is around March or April, so you can adjust your trip if you want to see and partake in this. The festival includes a procession of holy images and a series of traditional mask dances performed by monks.
At the same time, do note that whenever you’re visiting a temple in Bhutan, ensure that you only walk clockwise (otherwise you’re committing a major faux pas) and wear appropriate attire.