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Location: West of Thimphu
Distance from Thimphu: 65 km (1 hr 30 mins)
Elevation: 2,250m, 7,382ft
Paro is a broad and beautiful valley with a very good network of road and is home to the Paro International Airport, the only port of arrival as well as departure by air for international tourists. Besides 199 Lhakhangs and 428 Chortens, the Ta Dzong which functioned as a sentinel tower in the olden days and is now the National Museum stands above the main fortress.
Comprising of 10 Geogs, Paro is one of the developed dzongkhags in the country. The Paro valley is very fertile with paddy, wheat, millet, potatoes, apple and seasonal vegetables grown as the main crops.
All the houses in Paro are archetypal with brightly painted traditional motifs on the walls and now, corrugated sheet metal roofs. The ground floor normally serves as a cattle barn and the upper floor as the living quarters. Large red phalluses painted on walls and doors are a common sight in Paro. Some decorate their houses with carved wooden phalluses crossed by a sword, and hanging them on the four corners of the house. It is in the Bhutanese belief that this mold will ward off evil from coming into the house.
Important government institutions in the dzongkhag include the National Institute of Education, Druk Seed Corporation, Agriculture Machinery Centre and Post Harvest Unit. The dzongkhag has a national highway that links to both Phuentsholing and Thimphu.