Rinpung Dzong is a large beautiful dzong (fort) with towering walls built in the 1646 by Zabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Known as the Fortress on a Heap of Jewels, Rinpung Dzong is among the best tourist places in Bhutan and a classic example of Bhutanese architecture and deep-rooted traditions. Rinpung Dzong consists of a Buddhist monastery and fortress. It also has the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu School in Paro District, Bhutan. It houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag.
In the 15th century local people offered the crag of Hungrel at Paro to Lama Drung Drung Gyal. He built a small temple there and later a five storied Dzong or fortress which was known as Hungrel Dzong. In the 17th century, his descendants, the lords of Hungrel, offered this fortress to the Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Namgyal, the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in recognition of his religious and temporal authority.
In 1644 existing dzong was dismantled by the Zhabdrung and they laid the foundations of a new dzong. In 1646 the dzong was re-consecrated and established as the administrative and monastic centre of the western region and it became "Rinpung Dzong". Some scenes of film Little Buddha were shot in this dzong in 1993. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.
A great annual festival of Bhutan known as Tshechu is held at Rinpung Dzong in March or April month (from the eleventh to the fifteenth day of the second month of the traditional Bhutanese lunar calendar). On this occasion, holy images are taken in a procession. Monks perform a series of traditional mask dances conveying religious stories. Before the break of dawn on the morning of the fifteenth day, a huge sacred Thangka banner depicting the Eight Manifestations of Padmasambhava is displayed for the public, to keep to the tradition of not allowing sunlight to fall on it.