Taktsang – Staging a Heavenly Merger of Beauty and Spirituality
Rested on the cliffside of Paro town, Taktsang is commonly referred as the Tiger’s Nest. It underlines the unadulterated beauty and serenity of Bhutan. A trip to Bhutan is incomplete without a visit to this notable site. Trekking to Taktsang introduces tourists to a renowned Himalayan Buddhist sacred site, Taktsang Palphug Monastery. It is one the major attractions in Bhutan.
Highlights of Taktsang Palphug Monastery
Popularised as the first halt for Guru Rimpoche who arrived here on a tigress, the holy place is worshipped by millions of Buddhists and tourists every year.
The walls of the monastery vividly display the “Copper-Coloured Mountain Paradise of Padmasambhava,” which reminds people of this legend.
The monastery houses nine sacred caves like Pel Phug, Sengye Phug, Machig Phug, Odsel Phug, Gedig Phug, Kapali Phug, Phagmoi Phug, Droloe Phug, and Chogyal Phug, which is said to be the meditating spot of several holy saints.
Useful Information about Taktsang Palphug Monastery
Tourists are not allowed to explore the temple from within, still can enjoy the beguiling sight of this aesthetically carved monument and scenic environs of the Tiger’s Nest from the hilltop.
It takes about three hours (if you go trekking) to reach the mountaintop.
Ponies are also available as an alternative to reach the monastery.
A visit to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery will give you can opportunity to taste the refreshing local tea and Bhutanese snacks at the wooden cafeteria on your way.
Camera and Photography are strictly prohibited inside the monastery.
Top Activities to Enjoy in Taktsang
Taktsang boasts breathtaking views of the Paro Valley, spring and a cascading waterfall, which can be explored on foot. Tourists can enjoy several adventurous activities like horseback riding or hiking.
Festivals and Culture of Taktsang
Tshechu is one of the biggest celebration of Bhutan that is grandly celebrated in the monastery and temples of Taktsang. The event is celebrated on the tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar, matching the birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava).
The festival is celebrated with a great enthusiasm here, with colourful and traditional mask dance performances by monks embellishing the event.
Nearby Attractions of Taktsang
The pride of Bhutan, Taktsang boasts plethora of nearby attractions. Some of the places you shouldn’t miss visiting in Taktsang are:
Kichu Lhakhang (about 6 km.) – Also known as Victorious Fortress, Kichu Lhakhang is an important Buddhist temple. The temple is thought to be one of the 108 temples constructed to repress a demoness shacking in the Himalayas. Kichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Drugyel Dzong (about 10 km.) – Once a fortress and Buddhist monastery and now in ruins, Drugyel Dzong was built in 1649 and was destroyed by fire in 1950s. The place is stationed in the upper part of the Paro valley, Bhutan.
Enjoy the magnificent fusion of beauty and spirituality at Taktsang!