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Drukgyel Dzong, Paro

The ancient ruin of Drukgyel Dzong is situated strategically on a ridge in upper Paro valley and was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, unifier of Bhutan, in the year 1649. One of the features of the dzong was a false entrance that was designed to lure invaders into the enclosed courtyard. This is said to have worked successfully during the 2nd attack by Tibetan invaders in 1648.

On the way up you can see the remains of the large towers and the tunnel that used to obtain water from the stream below during long siege. Once the invasions ceased, this became a major trade route between Bhutan and the Tibetan town of Phari. On a clear day you can see a spectacular view of Jhomolhari snowcapped mountain from the area of the Dzong. It was destroyed by fire in 1951 but is still protected and maintained as an important site that marks the sovereignty of the nation.

It is listed as a tentative site for the UNESCO World Heritage List inclusion.