Traveling to Bhutan and not visiting the iconic Tiger’s Nest in Paro is a cardinal sin. For those who do not know, let this be your introduction to the fascinating Paro Taktsang perched precariously at a height of , 10,000 feet above sea level in the cliffs in upper Paro Valley, Bhutan. This iconic tourist attraction was once engulfed by a mysterious fire but has been completely restored to its former glory and is by far, the most visited in Bhutan. This place is sacred to the Buddhists housing a monastery, and is so particularly to the Vajrayana sect.
There is an interesting tale revolving around its origins. It is believed that Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, who was an 8th-century Buddhist master from India and also believed to be a re-incarnation of Buddha himself, landed at Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan, on a flying tigress. He then began meditating in a cave for 4 months. It is believed that he subdued the local ‘demons’ and began the conversion of the people of Bhutan to Buddhism.
To reach the main complex, one has to undertake an arduous trek of about 2-3 hours, from the valley floor to reach the entrance of the monastery. That is why it is referred to as a ‘nest’. Mid way up, one reaches the iconic spot from where people take the customary picture with the monastery in the background. There is also a canteen there where one can have lunch. Till here, a horse can be hired, but here onwards, the journey has to be completed on foot. From the entrance, there are 700 stone steps carved into the cliff face that lead up to the monastery. Inside the monastic complex are several caves, lhakhangs, sacred objects, drubchus (holy water), and Tshogyal Pangchung (the lawn of Khandro Yeshe Tshogyal). There is also a cold cave where Padmasambabva is said to have meditated. Besides the captivating monastery, the view of the valley from up there is surreal.
There is more to know about this mystical place. Read more here: https://www.tourgenie.com/travel-diaries/travel-blogs/bhutan-tigers-nest