Tiger's Nest Monastery, the stunning attraction of Bhutan
Paro Taktsang also known as Taktsang Palphug Monastery or Tiger's Nest at more than 3000 elevations in Paro, Bhutan.
Table of Contents (Show / Hide)
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a sacred Buddhist site located near Paro, Bhutan. It was constructed in 1692, around the cave where Guru Rinpoche first meditated, the event that introduced Buddhism into Bhutan. There is a legend that Guru Rinpoche was carried from Tibet to this location on the back of a tigress, thus giving it the name “Tiger’s Nest.” Tiger’s Nest Monastery was caught by fire on April 19, 1998 in the main building which destroys all the paintings, artifacts, Buddha statues and valuable manuscripts carrying a long history.
The monastery was reconstructed spending an amount around 22 million dollars. During the 17th century Terton Pema Lingpa constructed monasteries different parts of Bhutan. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery consists of four main temples which adapt the shelters from the huge rocks. The dark cave inside monastery holds the variety of images of Bodhisattvas. It is an incredible monastery consisting of history which seems like a tale, artifacts, religious beliefs and represent the inception of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Now, this monastery consists of four temples with residential accommodations for the monks. Despite the daily visits by tourists, Paro Takstang still functions as a monastery today. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located 10 miles north of Paro (20 minutes by car), making Paro the perfect home base when making this visit. Since most people can only visit Bhutan on an organized tour, your transportation will be arranged for you. The visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery takes a full day. On average, it takes between four and five hours to do the round-trip hike, plus one more hour to tour the monastery.
Many people also have lunch in the cafeteria not far from the monastery. Plan on leaving Paro around 8am and arriving back at your hotel around 3pm. Due to its location, the only way to get to the monastery is by hiking. There are no vehicles that make the drive up to the monastery. However, for those who cannot hike the entire way, you can hire a horse to carry you most of the way there. Hiking Distance is 6.4km equals to 4 miles as a round trip. Total ascent from the ground to above is 520 meters which is equals to 1700feet. Highest elevation is 3,120 meters which is equals to 10,232 feet. You will need 5 to 7 hours for the entire visit.
The hike starts at the bottom of the mountain. There will be people selling souvenirs and hiking poles and this is place to hire a horse if necessary. Once you clear the trees that surround the parking lot, you get your first glimpse of the Tiger’s Nest. In just a matter of hours, you will be up there too. The trail to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a wide, dirt trail. It is uphill the entire way but not overly steep. It’s very doable for most people, just be prepared to take your time.
The hike up to the cafeteria, which is at about the halfway point, takes most people between one and two hours. Along the way, you will pass under tons of prayer flags. Enjoy the views over the valley as you get higher. The scenery just keeps getting better. At the halfway point, the trail levels out for a little bit. You can spin prayer wheels and take a break at the Takstang Cafeteria and you will have a great view of the monastery. Some people choose to finish the hike here, electing not to make the final climb. October to December is the best time to visit Bhutan, when the weather is clear and cool. The spring season can also be a nice time to visit Bhutan. Things begin to really heat up in May, and from June through September the monsoon arrives.
The best lighting for photography is midday. While we were there, the monastery was in the shadow of the mountain until 11 am. Getting here early helps to avoid some of the crowds, but you will still need to wait until midday for the best photographs. Anyone of average fitness can complete this hike. Take your time, it is not a race. You may want to bring hiking poles to help out your knees on the descent.
This is an independent news agency. We are a group of free and independent journalists from around the world who together try to revive human rights. Our mission is to investigate and provide the news and events happening around to reveal truth to you in seven living languages of the world.