Taktsang Monastery – Paro
Paro Taktsang, known as the Tigers Nest Monastery. It is one of the most visited sites in Bhutan due to its beautiful location and its sacredness.
Although the caves over which the temple was built, existed since the 8th century when the Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche meditated in these caves,the present Paro Taktsang monastery was built on this very cave situated on a cliff, 900 meters above ground zero in 1692.
Guru Rimpoche came from Tibet riding a Flying Tiger (Tak), and this Tiger was the transformation of his consort Khandro Yeshay Tshokey. Taktsang means Tak (Tiger) and Tsang (Cave).
Paro’s Taktsang Monastery is the most sacred site and almost all locals have visited this site and the tourists who can hike have all visited the monastery.
Hiking to Taktsang takes an average walker about 2 hours one way (Up hill) and another 2 hours (back to ground zero).
There is a cafeteria half way, from where the view of Taktsang hanging on the Cliff is breathtaking and dreamy. Some who cannot walk all the way up to the monastery enjoy the view from this Cafeteria view point.
Taktsang compromises of 8 Guru Lhakhangs (Temples) and we can recite the Guru mantras when one visits these temples.
If you can, then visit the Tigers lair that is a narrow rocky cave. The path to this cave is dangerous but with great caution one can visit this cave.
In April 2016 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,Prince William and Kate Middleton hiked to the Taktsang Monastery,in a way fulfilling Prince Charles (Prince William’s Father) dreams of visiting Taktsang as Prince Charles on his tryst to hike up till the monastery in Year 1998 was unsuccessful due to injury and he stopped mid way. However from the point where Prince Charles stopped his hike, he painted the beautiful Taktsang Monastery.
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