My favorite day in Bhutan was the day we got up close and personal with Tiger’s Nest Monastery or Taktsang Monastery which is the small white building in the picture. First time i saw a photo of Tiger’s Nest Monastery while searching for the places to visit in Bhutan, i was amazed by its beauty and specifically its location. The Tigers Nest Monastery is build at a height of around 10,200 feet from the sea level and its difficult to imagine that such a Monastery was build back in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. It is believed that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew to this location on the back of a tigress where he meditated for three months and subsequently defeated the local demons and begin the spiritual rebirth of Bhutanese to Buddhism .
Tigers Nest is a two hour climb from the valley floor which is as 7000 feet above the sea level, you can also take a horse ride for two third of path which will cost you around 600 Bhutanese Ngultrum. As one climbs the well maintained but stepped track the Monastery seems to appear and disappear between the trees and mountains. In two hours of slow long climb and you see some magnificent views of Paro and Tigers Nest in between, encountered with lot of shrines, you will also see wind-horse flags and many mini chortens left behind by devotees on their pilgrimage to the Tiger’s Nest monastery. Although there is a tea-house along the way i would recommend to carry a water bottle and a little snacks.
After around 100 minutes of climbing you get a clear view of Tiger’s Nest a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site. From there your journey comprises of a long flight of stairs which descends down to a bridge and then ascends to Tigers Nest Monastery. Once you reach Monastery you will have to deposit all your cameras and mobiles and have to capture the breathtaking view through your eyes and once you have a look you will not ask for pictures to remember the stupefying scene ;). Luckily we reached the monastery at 12:45 which closes at 1:00 and were the last group to enter. After spending around 45 minutes we stared to go back from where we started, keep in mind that there are no horses to take you back as it is too dangerous for both riders and horses.
The entire experience of the Taktsang Monastery Tiger’s Nest is fulfilling and challenging where you are rewarded with beautiful, picturesque sceneries along the way. This is undoubtedly the most famous place in Bhutan, and was the backdrop for the ninja-training sequence in “Batman Begins”. 😀