Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

The hike to Taktshang Monastery popularly known to tourists as “The Tiger’s Nest” perched on a cliff at 2950m/9700ft takes any where from 4 to 6 hours as per your hiking ability. It is an uphill hike through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. Though the hike is strenuous it is worth it and one of the highlights of Bhutan tour. There is a cafeteria on the half way where you can take break with a cup of tea/coffee. Most people have lunch here on the way back.

Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava (the great Buddhist master who spread Buddhism in Bhutan) with his magical powers came to Taktshang in the eighth century, flying from the east of the country on the back of a tigress (a form that one of his consorts is believed to have taken). He is said to have meditated for about three months in a cave on the cliff and subdued the evil spirits in Paro valley. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1692 by the fourth Desi (local leader) Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below.