Tiger's Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang)

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Timings : 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee : BTN 500

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Tiger's Nest Monastery

Tiger, Paro Overview

Tiger's Nest Monastery, or Paro Taktsang, is one of the most prominent Buddhist sites in Bhutan. Located 900 metres above the upper cliff in the Paro Valley, this monastery is undoubtedly an architectural marvel. While Bhutan is loaded with monasteries, what makes Paro Taktsang stand apart is its religious and historical significance.

Tiger's nest is known for the trek that has been carried on for years. With a total distance of 6.4 kms, the trek offers mesmerising views of the Paro Valley. The mystery of how it was constructed in such conditions still amazes people. It is one of the few sites in Bhutan which was visited by Guru Rinpoche, who is also referred to as 'Second Buddha'.

Paro Taktsang

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Mythology of Tiger's Nest Monastery

Paro Taktsang

In the seventh century, when Guru Padmasambhava introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, he rode to this site on a Tigress' back on his way back to Tibet. In the cave, he meditated for continuously three months. The local demons and evil spirits were subdued by him. This is how the monastery got the name Tiger's Nest Monastery. The Paro Taktsang is believed to be blessed by Guru Rinpoche and the mesmerising views of the surroundings make the hike worthwhile.

Architecture of Paro Taktsang

Paro Taktsang Architecture

Built on a steep cliffside in an isolated location, the fact of how a monastery as beautiful as this one can be constructed so flawlessly in such a location puzzles people. People from all around the globe visit the Paro Taktsang to see the fine Bhutanese architecture. There are three major temples found here and the best part is the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated. His presence can still be felt by many in there. The walls are painted with the holy figure of Padmasambhava, all very fine and intricate.

Tiger's Nest Trek

Total Distance: 6.4 kms
Elevation: 3,120 metres (10,240 ft)
Time Required: 3-5 hours depending on your pace.

The trekking trail which leads to Paro Taktsang is considered a bit challenging, but all it takes is the determination to reach the destination.

Trek to Paro Taktsang, Tiger's Nest Monastery

The trail starts from the nearest road and the total length up to the monastery is around 4 kilometres. There are colourful flags all along the way, which makes the trail beautiful and vibrant. The first stop on the route is a cafeteria, which is at a 2 kilometres uphill distance from the parking lot. The trail is gentle, with an amazing view all along the way. This is more like a resting point, where you can relax and treat yourself with snacks and tea for completing the 2 kilometres long trek.

Thereafter, there are a 1.44 kilometres long trek to a cliffside from where the view of Paro Taktsang is the best. Here, the monastery looks the way it should look like. It looks like a paradise situated between the hills and the aura is extremely captivating and tranquilising.

Paro Taktsang, Tiger's Nest Monastery

From this point on, the monastery is just 0.6 kilometres away. The journey may seem impossible to complete, but when the entry gate of the monastery is reached and the amazing view greets you, the tiredness fades away in seconds.

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Places to Eat Near the Tiger's Nest Monastery

There is a small cafeteria overlooking the Paro Taktsang a few metres downhill the monastery. Light snacks and beverages are served here. The view from here is just as beautiful and satisfying as from the top. Those who have difficulty in hiking all the way up to the monastery can enjoy the ambience from here.

Traveller Tips While Visiting the Paro Taktsang

  • Take a walking stick with you, since it makes the walk less difficult.
  • A wheelchair ramp is not available.

How To Reach Tiger's Nest Monastery

There is no vehicle which goes up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery since the path is not well laid. So walking remains the only viable option. The hike from the nearest road is four to six hours long, depending upon your speed. Animals such as ponies can also be hired at the base to the midpoint from where you'd have to hike a little to reach the top. But due to the curvy trail, the ride becomes risky and tiring, since animals bump a lot. So walking is the best option to reach the monastery.

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