Paro Dzong is popularly also known as Rinpung Dzong which means, “The fortress of the heap of jewels”. Paro Dzong consists of government’s district administration and Buddhist school. During 15th century, Gyelchok the brother of gyelzom build five storied structure which later became Paro Dzong. It is located on a ridge above pa chu (Paro river) river. According to the local Paro legend, it is said that at the base of the cliff; the La Tsho soul lake of the deity Jag Wog Nep exist. In 1645, “Gyelchok the lord of humrell” gave his small fortress to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel because Gyelchok recognized Zhadrung as a prominent religious and political leader in Bhutan. In addition, Zhabdrung incredibly continued the extensive construction of Paro Dzong. In October 1915, the Paro Dzong was destroyed by fire. Nevertheless, Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor rebuilt it accordingly to the original architecture. Although the fire destroyed majority of essential Buddhist relics and statues, Thongdrol a 20×20 meter wide thangka was saved. This enormous thangka is displayed to the public during annual Paro Tshechu.
The ancient ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, which is considered as one of the most beautiful and famous archaeological a site in Bhutan, is 14km far away from Paro town. It is located in the north of the Paro district. The word ‘Druk’ literally refers to Bhutan and the word ‘Gyel’ refer to victory. The Dzong was built in the year of 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to commemorate his victory in unifying the country and saving the country from the external threats.
The Dzong served solely for the defensive purpose, especially from the external threats from the border until 1951, when it was burned down by the fire caused from butter lamp. And it was never reconstructed again.
The reconstruction started this year to mark the importance of birth anniversary of our Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuk.
Dobji Dzong’s main relic consists of statue of Jetsun Milarepa, Guru Langdarchen, Dungsay dewa Zangpo (son of Dupthob Chagzampa) and Ngawang Chogyal. Dobji Dzong is considered to be the first model Dzong in Bhutan. The name Dogar, which means white bolder, is a reference to the “Five White Bolders” in the village of Dogar. The Dzong was built in 1531 by Ngawang Chogyal, the brother of Chojie Drukpa kuenley, who is popularly known as the “Divine Madman”. The source of the spring was found to be a rock located on the current location of Dobji Dzong, which was then chosen for its religious significance.
The Haa Dzong was built in 1895. The Dzong was intended to be a center of administration of the district and defense against Tibetan invasion. It is said that the Dzong was built to subdue the evil influences of the serpent deities on the lives of the people and their livestock. It is said that there are 108 serpent deities around the area.
Tashichhodzong was built in 1216 by Gyalwa Lhanangpa. In 1641 Zhabdrung acquired the Dzong from the descendants of lam Phajo and converted into a Dzong. The original dzong was destroyed by fire in 1771.
They served as a defense but also became the centers of religion and administration. Dzong is also a place where people used to seek protection in it at the event of war. Dzongs is also store house of national treasures, books, and written records as well as weapons.
Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong
Lingzhi Yügyal Dzong is an important monastery and administrative center situated at an altitude of 4150 metres above sea level. The was built in 1668 by the third Desi of Bhutan, Chögyal Minjur Tenpa to commemorate victory over a Tibetan invasion.The Dzong was partly damaged by an earthquake in 1867. In the 1950s the building was reconstructed and used as administrative center.
It was constructed in 1637 and named it Pungthang Dechen Phodrang Dzong. Ever since it was built, the Punakha Dzong has played an importance role in the country’s history mainly being a capital of Bhutan till 1995. The first National Assembly of the country was also held in the Dzong in 1952, during the time of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.
Punakha is still the winter residence of the Central Monk Body. Punakha Dzong is 180m long and 72m wide and the utse is six storied high. The Dzong is unique as it holds a very strategic position to protect against invasion. It is situated between the two giant rivers Pho chu and Mo chu.
Gasa Dzong is the administrative headquarter of Gasa Dzongkhag. The Dzong was called as Garsa Dzong, which means “the land of Black Smith.” It refers to the Tekhungpa who was skilled in iron works and worked in the area.
Annually in the last week of the 10th month in Bhutanese calendar, Drapai Lopen (one of the heads of the monastic body) leads the monastic body to make the annual offerings to the deities. Gun salutation is performed on the 29th day to honor Mahakala.
Wangdue Phordang stands on a ridge where the Dangchu meets the Punatshangchu. The protective deity of Bhutan, Yeshi Goenpo is supposed to have told told Zhabdrung Rinpoche that he could bring the whole country under his power if he built a dzong on the ridge which has the shape of a sleeping elephant. The Dzong was built in1639 and named as Wangdue which means “to bring under one power”.On 24th June 2012 a major fire completely razed the historic fortress to the ground and it is currently under construction.
Druk Minjur Chokhor Rabten Tse later becomes the Dzong’s name on the order of Chogyal Minjur Tenpa, the first Trongsa Penlop. It literally means the Dzong on the tip of a Dungkhar (Conch), of the never-changing country of Druk and the everlasting Dharma.
Trongsa Dzong has the significant purpose as it served as the administrative quarter headquarter for the country. It is also said it is the residence for the father of first king.
Jakar Yuegyal Dzong, commonly Known as the Jakar Dzong, is situated on a ridge above Jakar Village of Chamkhar Valley in Bumthang. A special feature of theJakar Dzong is the approximately fifty-meter-high utse, which distinguishes it from most other Dzongs in Bhutan. It is possible to walk around the outer walls of the entire Dzong, but we cannot see the base perimeter of the utse. This may be in part due to the earthquake of 1897. The rebuilt structure is said to be smaller than the original.
The Mongar Dzong was established in 1930 to replace the original Zhongar Dzong, although the original utse (central tower) dates from an earlier age. We can see the Zhongar dzong as ruins at present before reaching the present location of present Dzong. The Zhongar Dzong has rich history behind its ignorance and change of location.