Perched on the edge of a cliff, at a dizzying height of 2,300 feet and overlooking the lush green valley below, the Taktsang Monastery meaning the “Tiger’s Nest” in Bhutanese is truly one of the most elusive and secluded monasteries in the world. The plethora of monasteries truly defies one’s imagination with its vertigo inducing edge and one can easily understand that the solitude and intrusion of this place can be quite permanent and substantial, the access being seemingly available through one brave journey. The path to the monasteries is only via foot and provides a breathtaking journey of discovery.
The cliffs form part of the Himalayan mountain range in Bhutan which is also known as the Land of Thunder Dragons and is surrounded by legends associated with Guru Rinpoche, referred to as the second Buddha. It is believed that the thirteen caves that are here are the ones in which he meditated while the name comes from another legend that claims that he got there on the back of a tiger, while others say that he transformed himself into a tiger to fight the evil forces. The temple at the monastery was built in 1692 and today the site can be reached by a winding road which takes up at about 2 to 3 hours.
The monastery disappears and reappears at time as one trudges along until finally coming upon it and the breathtaking view it affords. Most travellers who reach this monastery of soulful silence and breathless solitude claim it as an experience that is a once in a lifetime opportunity. However the journey is not for the weak hearted or those who fear heights. It is easy to understand that the place nurtures spirituality as the cliffs sit on par with the clouds which glide by noiselessly and are far removed from life of all forms with its vertical edge facing mere vacancy and the depth into the Paro Valley.
Find yourself a Bhutan hotel in the Paro Valley itself and you will find yourself surrounded by authentic Bhutanese culture and scenery. Uma Bhutan is one such reputed hotel where the private villas and luxurious rooms bear testimony to the country’s rich cultural tapestry and include some local work in the interior design. They also offer a very comprehensive and informative Bhutan tour packages with English speaking guides to help with the task of conveying information regarding the historic and culturally important sites.