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Paro Taktsang - Tiger’s Nest

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Paro Taktsang, also known as “Tiger’s nest”, is one of the iconic sacred sites in Bhutan which is located 3120 metres above sea level on the Cliffside of upper Paro valley, Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche, an extraordinary saint who founded the Mahayana school of Buddhism, also known as Padma Sambhava landed on this place on a flying tigress’s back from Tibet. The tigress was actually the former wife of Guru Rimpoche, known as Yeshi Tshogyal, who willingly became guru’s disciple in Tibet. She transmuted herself into a tigress and took Guru Rimpoche on her back from Tibet to the current location of the Takshang. Guru Rimpoche meditated in the cave for exactly three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century before subduing some troublesome demons in the valley below. Later in the 17th century, Desi Tenzin Rabgay visited the site and constructed a temple honouring Padma Sambhava. Desi Tenzin Rabgay was the Bhutanese ruler believed to be the reincarnation of Padma Sambhava. After the construction of the temple, Paro Taktsang became a meditation spot for many Important Buddhist figures. However, on April 19, 1998 a fire started in the Monastery, it was burned down completely destroying valuable paintings, artefacts, statues and later started rebuilding in 2000 and completed in 2005 by the Fourth King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck with the cost of around more than 2 million USD.

It is one of the most famous and must-visit monasteries in Bhutan for both locals and international tourists.

Paro Taktshang, Park, Bhutan. Photographer :Tshering Wangchuk

Paro Taktsang Monastery consists of 4 main temples, several dwellings and eight caves. The interior design of the temple impresses with its luxurious beauty: gold-plated dome and flickering lights that are illuminating golden idols. The rock-carved steps interconnect all the buildings inside and have balconies with a breathtaking view of the surrounding. The main shrine of the monastery is located in the courtyard where the monks have to rotate every morning at 4 am to start the new day. It is an important monastery for Bhutan as it is known almost all around the world and is a landmark of Bhutan.

Bhutan has a strong connection to its nature and its cultural heritage. The Taktsang Monastery is a modern-day example of such a spiritual connection Bhutan has to Buddhism. Therefore, Paro Taktsang is one of the most important monasteries in Bhutan as it holds a rich significance and beliefs.

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