The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is also popularly known as Taktsang Palphug Monastery. Located in Paro Valley, Paro District, Bhutan, this was formally built as a monastery in 1692 and used as a meditation cave until it was founded in the 8th century. It is also one of monasteries or “tiger’s lairs” where the Guru Rinpoche or “Precious Master” also known as the “Second Buddha” of Bhutan is said to have meditated. Legendary tales reveal Padmasambava landed at Paro Taktsang when he brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the seventh century. He had arrived on a flying tiger which had recently been his Tibetan concubine.
The journey to visit this monastery is a steep climb up the hill and it is advised that every guest visits with a local guide. It is a two hour climb from the valley floor, which is already quite high at 7000 feet, to the Tiger’s Nest 3000 feet above, 10,000 feet above sea level. A tour guide can be contacted from almost all the Luxury Hotels in Bhutan including Uma by COMO, Paro. These guides can organize the climb and even a pony can be arranged upon request. The pony ride can be arranged for the ride up only, and until the cafeteria. From there it is another steep walk, and then the steep and narrow stairs until the Monastery.
The guide will also advise guests the level of difficulty of the climb according to the capability of the guests. A standard permit should be obtained to enter the monastery and this can be done through your tour guide. The visiting times would be between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2p.m. to 5 p.m. daily during October and March and from April to September the monastery can be visited until 6 p.m. Camera and photography is not allowed inside the monastery and all belongings have to be deposited at the entrance security after registration.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.