For century’s sacred and mysterious places have had a special hold over the world, with many of us searching for tranquil chill out spots to bring peace and solitude back into our lives; Bhutan and Taktsang Palphug Pro Monastery in Bhutan is one of those places.
The country is hidden in the breathtaking Himalayas, a seemingly untouched country surrounded by lush, unforgettable landscapes, the perfect place for this extraordinary monastery.
Located in the Paro districts, the Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger Nest, has long been considered one of Bhutan’s most sacred monasteries. This monastery seems to literally hang on a high and steep granite cliff, filled with tranquil hidden places overlooking the inspiring vision that is the northern Paro valley.
The monastery buildings (4 main temples and shelters) are built into the nearly vertical rock slopes which are extremely steep however are accessible from a number of directions with 4 of the 8 caves fairly easy to get to. Access routes include the northwest path through a magical forest, the south which is the path followers use and the north over the rocky plateau known as “Hundred Thousand Fairies”, a surreal path that seems to prepare you for the amazing hidden places you’ll be experiencing up ahead. There’s mule track that leads to the monastery as well, passing through the mystical pine forest that is graced by splashes of color due to collections of prayer flags and moss. On most days the monastery is shrouded in clouds, giving its many chill out spots providing special feelings of solitude and peace of the likes you’ve never felt before in your life.
All the monastery buildings are interconnected through stairways and steps magically built into rocks as well as questionable wooden bridges along a few of the paths. The temple nestled at the monastery’s highest level showcase a beautiful frieze of Buddha and each building includes a balcony, an unreal place to relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the remarkable views of the picturesque Paro valley below.
A temple complex was initially constructed in 1692, around the iconic Paro Taktsang Senge Samdu cave where it is said that Guru Padmasambhava, who is acknowledged for bringing Buddhism to Bhutan, meditated for 3 months during the 8th century. Today, Paro Taktsang is the most infamous of the 13 taktsang caves where he spent most of his time meditating. As you gaze out at the wonders that surround you, you can easily see why Padmasambhava chose this majestic area for his meditations. Today, sometime during the months of March and April, a popular festival, referred to as the Tsechu, is celebrated in the stunning Paro Valley, celebrating and honoring Padmasambhava, considered Bhutan’s much loved deity.
We should all be thankful to Guru Padmasambhava for his vision in having the enlightened monks who followed him build this incredible monastery. The monastery so precariously perched, seems as if it is sharing itself with the world, and its glorious surroundings provide all of those who visit tranquil chill out spots so unique that you’ll never find another place in the world like it; truly an experience of a lifetime. The many images of Bodhisattvas and the flickering butter lamps that honor the idols will leave you with an inner peace that you can take home with you and will never forget.