Runaway Photo: Paro Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

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Runaway Photo: Paro Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Tiger's Nest Monastery

Visiting The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

You can’t dismiss Paro Taktsang, well known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, when you are visiting Bhutan. It is one of the most sacred religious sites in Bhutan. Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche visited and sanctified Bhutan in the 8th century when evil spirits abounded and harmed people. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a tigress’ back to subdue a local demon (one of his eight manifestations). Thereafter, it is known that he have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. It hangs on a cliff and stands above a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons.

We drove to Paro from Thimphu to visit the monastery. It takes about 2.5 hours to hike up all the way, but you can rest at the wooden teahouse restaurant or cafeteria after the first hour. You can also hire a horse to hike up, but it’s not recommended. There have been several accidents from the horseback ride on the trail, I’ve heard. The monastery is across the rocky valley, and it is connected by approximately 700 stone steps from the highest point of the trail. It is the best place enjoy the stunning vista of the monastery and cliff. Because of its high elevation (about 3,100 meters high), the hike wasn’t too easy, but I felt great with all the fresh air from trees. Also, it offers the best view of the Paro Valley.

In 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure and all its contents. The fire is the biggest enemy of old wooden temples in Bhutan. Previously, it had suffered a fire in 1951. It was reconstructed in April 2000.

Here are a few things to remember before your visit:

✪ Tourists can enter the monastery as per these timings as long as your guide has arranged the standard permit in advance:
✪ 8 AM to 1 PM and 2-5 PM daily, October – March/ Until 6 PM, April – September.
✪ You have to register with the security at the entrance and deposit your bags and cameras.
✪ Photography is not allowed inside the monastery.

 

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

View of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery from the trail head

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

Isn’t it stunning, how the structure is located up there?

 

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Butterfly

Butterfly I met during the hike

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery

The view of Paro Valley

The view of Paro Valley

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery and prayer flags

Mini stupas

Mini stupas for prayers

Mantras on the rock

Mantras on the rock

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Tiger's Nest Monastery

Juno and Stephen at Tiger’s Nest Monastery

 

The Tiger's Nest Monastery

Me at the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

9 Comments

  1. Arabella says:

    Amazing photographs, Juno, as usual! 🙂 You always make feel envious watching them. hahaha. A suggestion: when a post with the top ten places you have visited so far?

  2. Beth says:

    So amazing! Ever since I saw a documentary about this a year or so ago, it has definitely been on my bucket list!

  3. Wow, what a special place to visit! Reminds me of the Nepalese Himalayas.

  4. Noel says:

    Such an incredible place! Just imagine the architecture feat in constructing such a beautiful monastery in such a location! Amazing!

  5. […] Runaway Juno posts an eye-popping photo essay on Paro Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan (spoiler: no actual tigers. Still worth […]

  6. Samantha says:

    Gorgeous! I love places like this, unexpectedly a beautiful structure in the middle of a mountain. Awesome pics!

  7. […] hills, seeing people’s bright smiles, and breathing fresh air from the Himalayas. Seeing the Tiger’s Nest Monastery was definitely worth […]

  8. Great pictures. That monastery in Bhutan is just awesome, how did they even build that thing right on the edge of a mountain?

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