National Museum of Bhutan

First built in 1649, the conch shape watchtower (or Ta-Dzong) was established to protect the Paro Dzong (Fortress) below by overlooking the entire Paro valley from all directions. Conch shell has been the horn trumpet in Buddhism since the beginning of time. The conch shape design encompasses the union of sun (circular shape outside) and moon (crescent shape inside) which symbolizes fame and victory, making it very meaningful as a watch tower.

In 1950s, the watch tower was closed to a collapse state. The third king ordered a renovation project to enhance the structure of the building and turned it into the National Museum. It now houses historic artifacts, antiques, ritual objects used in traditional festivals, as well as some preserved specimens of animals in Bhutan.

Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
The National Museum is a 6-storey tall conch shape building with a spiral stairwells inside connecting the exhibition floors.
Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
This is the back of the National Museum which leads to the entrance from the top level.
Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
This is part of the 180 degree panoramic view from the watchtower. The building below with a red roof is the Paro Fortress.
Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
The main entrance of the museum looks like other traditional Bhutanese dzongs with delicate hand-paintings. The building is closed for renovation at the moment.
Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
There are two big prayer wheels at the entrance.
Ta-Dzong (National Museum) 不丹國家博物館
Since the National Museum is under renovation, the secondary building behind the museum is used for exhibitions. There is an entrance fee but it’s usually covered under the all-inclusive travel package.
National Museum of Bhutan 不丹博物館
Photography and videographers are not allowed inside the museum. All bags have to be checked and put in the locker by the entrance.

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