Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas between China and India, the small Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan opened itself to the outside world only in 1960s. Hithertho, it had been largely mysterious even to its neighbours but abandoning its self-imposed policy of isolation had it grappling to find a precarious balance between modernization and the preservation of its culture and traditions.However, it does seem that Bhutan has found the perfect balance between the two and now though it is making tremendous developments in all sectors, it also manages to hold onto its unique identity that makes it unlike any other country in the world with a population of just over 0.7 million.
Paro Taktsang is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and the temple complex is located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery more famous as Paro Taktsang is a Buddhist temple complex which clings to a cliff, 3120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan.
Mountainous Paro valley is the heart of Bhutan; here the only international airport of the country is located.
The Taktsang Palphug Monastery is one of the most famous touristic destinations of the country and the cultural icon of Bhutan.
the source : www.parotaktsang.org
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. Thereafter, he meditated here for three months.
Taktshang Goemba or Tiger’s Nest Monastery was blessed and sanctified as one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites. It hangs on a cliff and stands above a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons.
the source : /www.tigersnestbhutan.com/
Interesting Facts about Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan/ By Rebekah Bresee
1. The monastery is made up of four temples and a collection of residential shelters that are uniquely designed to rest on the mountain side. Wooden bridges and stairs carved into the mountain connect the buildings, and each building has a balcony with a beautiful view of the Paro Valley below.
2. Tiger’s Nest lies 3,000 feet above the valley and 10,000 feet above sea level, making the path up to the monastery very steep.
3. There are several paths leading to the temple. The most popular path takes you through a pine forest and past the colorful prayer banners that protect the temple from evil spirits. Another path can be found in the north passing through a plateau called “A Hundred Thousand Fairies.” There are also paths for mule and pony treks; however these do not go all the way to the top.
4. Prayer flags act as a guide toward the monastery, truly immersing you into the religious and spiritual essence of the mountain. You will also see prayer wheels and chortens (meditations places) along the path, giving you an excuse to rest and take picture.
5. The prayer wheel in the courtyard of the main shrine is rotated every morning by the monks. Doing so marks the beginning of a new day.
6. The original structure actually burned down in 1998. The Tiger’s Nest seen today is the result of a 135 million ngultrum (about $2 million US) restoration and rebuilding project that finished in 2004. Despite being built in the 21st century, the monastery’s architecture and design resembles that of 8th century temples.
7. Tiger’s Nest is notable enough to earn a visit from royalty. In 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton made the trek to the monastery while visiting Bhutan.
More Some Interesting Facts About The Tiger’s Nest (Palphug Taktsang Monastery) by www.tnlbhutan.com
6. In the year 1692, there was a foundation laid in front of the cave and soon after was built a beautiful structure (monastery) in seemingly impossible location.
7. The first temple was built by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, who was believed to be the reincarnation of Guru Padmasambhava and the erstwhile leader of Bhutan kingdom.
8. The monastery comprises of four temples and a couple of residential shelters that are uniquely designed to rest on the pretty mountain-side. Besides, the wooden bridges and stairs carved into the mountain and connecting the buildings, each structure owns a balcony which exudes a delightful view of the Paro Valley below.
9. Amongst the various paths that lead to the monastery, one most popular is the path through the pine forests and past the colorful prayer flags that are lined throughout so as to guard the temple from evil spirits.
10. Another path is towards the north passing through a plateau called “A Hundred Thousand Fairies”. However, there are also other paths for mule and pony treks but these do not go all the way to the temple top.
11. On your way up to the monastery, you’ll come across a number of prayer flags, wheels, and chortens accompanying your trek. You may pause for a while and get your soul relished with the spiritual essence and magical ambiance of the sacred mountains.
12. A huge prayer wheel is located in the courtyard of the main shrine. It is rotated every morning by monks marking the beginning of a new day.
13. Actually, the original structure of the temple was burned down in the year 1998. The temple was hard to access and the emergency assistance was near to impossible. Later, the monastery was reconstructed in order to guard the nation’s century-old Buddhist symbol.
14. The Tiger’s Nest that all of us can see today is a result of 135 million Ngultrum (about $2 million US) restoration and rebuilding project which ended in 2004. But despite the reconstruction, the monastery’s architecture and design still resemble that of the 8th-century temples.
15. In the year 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton made a trek to the Tiger’s Nest while visiting the Land of Thunder Dragons- Bhutan.
16. There are eight caves which surround and reside in the monastery but the two worth visiting are “Tholu Phuk” and “Pel Phuk”. Apparently, these are the caves in which Guru Rimpoche visited and meditated in.
17. During the months of March or April, the Tshechu festival is greatly celebrated in the Paro Valley in the honor of Guru Rimpoche. If you want to actually experience the ancient Buddhist traditions, then you must visit the monastery during this four-day festival. Also, the valley is more likely to be busy and crowded at this time.