Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

Seeking spiritual and physical therapy: Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Hiking always relaxes your body and refresh the mind.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan.

Paro Taktsang is one of the sacred Buddhist monasteries which cling on the cliff side of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan. It is one of thirteen Tiger’s Nest caves in authentic Tibet in which Padmasambhava practiced Vajrayana. Getting to Paro Taktsang is a tiring journey but there is another alternative you can take on horseback. However, the hike to Paro Taktsang is breathtaking where you will see diverse flora and fauna species and fresh environment.

The title “Taktsang” tiger’s lair or commonly known as (Tiger’s Nest) is a sacred location and a legacy image. The first temple was built by Sonam Gyaltshen (Buddhist master) likely in 1508 at Taktsang Pelphug. However, on April 19, 1998, a fire broke out within the fundamental building of the monastery complex, which contained religious depictions, artifacts and statues. The fire is believed to be caused by electrical short-circuiting or glinting butter lights lighting the hanging embroidered works of art but the monastery was completely re-established now. 

Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan.

Taktsang monastery is found roughly 10 km north of Paro town at a height of 3120m. In order to reach the temple, visitors must take a journey for around 2 to 3 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this exceptional legacy site. People ordinarily cover the total journey of 6 km (counting return) in 5 to 6 hours. The path is tough and inconsistent but not overly steep. One can certainly reach the monastery at their own pace and in this way; individuals arrange one full day for Tiger’s Nest monastery visit. Tiger’s Nest monastery is built 900m over the ground and there are some 800 steps of a stone staircase before you reach the main monastery. 

On the way, beautiful prayer flags and small prayer wheels with an outstanding scenario make the journey an awesome one. Halfway through, there is a cafeteria where visitors can take a break and have snacks, lunch and purchase water. That area has a great sitting range and numerous individuals taking a little break before heading to the main monastery. There are also few individuals who select the cafeteria as a final destination (those who are unable to climb further) and descend down. 

Taktsang monastery is not only a sacred location but also native to around five tree species and 33 bird species. The tree species are Rhododendron, blue pine, poplar and brown oak along with 33 species of birds were recorded, 10 are residential and others migratory. The info-graphic signboard was set up at the base of the valley by Bhutan ecological society supported by the World Wide Fund. This extends empowers guests to appreciate the characteristic nature along with one of Buddhism’s most sacred trials and biodiversity in that put. It would be odd to take off Bhutan without paying a visit to its most famous point of interest.    

Hike for wellness.   

Kezang Choden: She is one of the contributors to Biodiversity Nepal from Bhutan. She has completed her M.Sc. in Natural Resource Management from Punakha, Bhutan. 

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