Perched on a cliff in the upper reaches of the Paro Valley, Taktsang Monastery is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. It was built in 1692 around the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century.
The legend behind this monastery’s establishment is as intriguing as its location. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, descended here on this mountain on the back of a tigress from Tibet. Hence, the place is also called Tiger’s Nest. He arrived here at a time when evil spirits abounded. His meditation in the mountain cave subjugated the evil spirits and converted the valley to Buddhism. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, who built the monastery in 1692, is believed to be the reincarnation of Guru Rinpoche.
Reaching the monastery
Since none of us are Guru Rinpoche and can’t have a tigress to fly us to the clifftop, the only way is to walk up the mountainous path. Or you can ride on the back of a horse, who would also go through the same route, only a little faster. Whether you go on foot or on horseback, the hike up to the mountain would be an enticing journey, offering spellbinding views of the valley below.
Situated in- Paro Valley, Bhutan
Opening hours- 8:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm daily (October to March); until 6:00pm (April to September)
Note- Standard permit has to be arranged in advance; photography is not allowed so cameras and bags have to be deposited with the security outside.
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