A city nestled in the Paro Valley, successfully managing to keep the air of Urbanization from combing its uninhibited atmosphere, welcomed us into its Dzongs – forts, with open arms. And with these open arms were its people, deeply rooted in their traditions by making it a way of life and living in homes which truly represented the art and culture of Bhutan. Pleasing and surprising to the eye was the innocence with which Paro stood draped in its Vernacularism.

An impromptu holiday, easily planned (no visas required), led us to trudge these winding roads with little kids, dressed in their traditional attires, waving as  any car passed by. Often ready to pose for you and sometimes even with you, while their shy mothers politely nudged them to greet us.

Regulated by strict laws, and surely by personal will, the people till date practice local building techniques creating this homogenous image of beautifully hand crafted houses. Walking past one of these, to catch a glimpse of their national animal Takin – half goat half bull, we happened to come across another of their arts in this woman weaving local silk to create a magical garment. Colors and more colors was all i saw as every part of this city unfolded though the journey.

RED was dominant and so was its religious counterpart. Monasteries and Dzongs lined with spinning prayer wheels, swaying flags and chanting monks wrapped in red. Coming as a great surprise was the comfort with which these monks interacted and let me capture glimpses of their routine activity, however this did not last long. Soon i was driven away by the sounds of a beating stick, by a an old monk – seemed to be their head, with experience on his face that i wish i could have captured.

Reiterating the connections between Hinduism and Buddhism were the beliefs about salvation and mukti, about sins and penance and the acts of devoting ones latter part of life in the service of the Lord. All in all making this, religiously driven place, a must on my To Do List again, and ensuring this was the uninterrupted hospitality by the staff at the stunning Amankora and Uma Paro, fine examples of modern day Bhutanese Hill Architecture.

Copyright Abhimanyu Prakash





~ by abhimanyuprakash on June 6, 2011.

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