Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro, Bhutan

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Location: Paro, Bhutan
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Locally known as Taktsang, the 326 years old monastery is one of the most sacred religious sites in the Bhutan. The monastery is perched 900 meters above Paro valley. Its expansive architectural structure despite the precarious location attracts thousands of tourists from across the globe every year. According to the legend, a 7th century Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche meditated in the cave for many years to bless the land and he is said to have arrived at the site riding atop a flying tigress. Subsequently the current monastery was built around the cave. Thus the place was named the Tiger’s Nest.

The journey to the top begins at the base of a 900 meter sheer drop cliff. On a clear weather day, a white speck on a vast rocky surface can be spotted from the base. Sometimes due to its substantial elevation, the monastery remains either partially or completely concealed by slow rising mist adding a sense of excitement and adventure to the journey. The monastery is only accessible on foot however pony ride services are available. It is a 3 hour hike up to the monastery.

The trail rises gradually through the pine forests. On the way up, hikers may pass by monks heading to the town to get their supplies. As the hikers approach the monastery at the top, the panoramic view of the valley below and the peaceful ambience are known to induce mindfulness. Hikers also never miss to take a picture with the backdrop of the majestic monastery. It is a must visit destination while in Bhutan.

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