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Jela Dzong || Jele La Dzong

Jela Dzong, perched atop a mountain with commanding views of Paro Valley to the west and Tsaluna valley to the east, is indeed an iconic fortress.
Historically known as Drela Samten Choekhor or simply Jela, this sacred site was constructed by Lam Ngawang Choegyal in the 15th century AD.
Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan in the 17th century, is said to have spent time here on his journey between Thimphu and Paro. During his stay, he had a vision of Bhutan's protective deity, Palden Yeshey Goenpo, and received a prophecy, which is how the name "Jela," meaning "encounter," came about.
The temple was originally small but was expanded in the 18th century AD by the 16th Je Khenpo Sherub Singye. Furthermore, a major renovation was carried out in 2014. The main statue inside the temple is a 4-meter-tall statue of Buddha.
Jela Dzong can be reached by 2-3hr/4-5 Km walk uphill from Damchena Village, located few kilometers by dirt road above National Museum.
From the vantage point of Jela Dzong, visitors are treated to an astounding view of Paro Valley, with the distant peaks of majestic mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake visible on a clear day.