The Tiger's Nest, locally known as the Taktshang Monastery, is perched on a vertical cliff-face in Paro in western Bhutan. This hike is almost always the main attraction from your visit to Bhutan and we, at Green Mandala Tours, recommend you this hike very highly.
This wondrous monastery never ceases to thrill a visitor – locals and tourists alike. It is a photographer’s dream.
Making it so attractive is not just the monastery but also the entire package of the hike. You drive up to the base of the monastery from where you the view on top of the vertical cliff tease you.
You have to hike uphill for about 2 to 3 hours to reach the monastery. We recommend you to carry your hiking sticks.
If you don’t pride yourself to be a hiker, you can hire a pony at the base of the mountain. The pony would carry you to a strategic point very close to the monastery. You cannot take the pony when you descend, as it is not safe.
If you want to avoid hiking uphill under the scorching sun, you could begin early in the morning – lets say about 6 or 7:00 am to ensure that by the time the sun smiles on you, you are already or nearly on top of the mountain.
At the entrance, you would be required to keep your bags, mobile phones and camera. You cannot take photographs inside the temple.
On the way back, you can have your lunch at a cafeteria midway through the hike.
The Tiger’s Nest monastery is considered one of the most important and sacred monasteries in Bhutan. The history of the Tiger’s Nest is shrouded in myths. It is said that an Indian born saint, Guru Padmasambhava, regarded by Bhutanese to be the second Buddha, flew to the site of the monastery in the 8th century on a tigress and meditated there for more than 3 years. It is believed that Guru’s disciple wife, Yeshey Tshogyal, converted herself into the tigress to take her husband to the site.
Since then, many Buddhist teachers and lamas visited and consecrated the site including meditating there for years. The present day monastery was built in the 17th century and it went several reconstructions.