The Tiger’s Nest Monastery (aka Paro Taktsang) outside of Paro, Bhutan is a magical and mysterious place that you have to see to believe.
It’s a sacred Buddhist site cut high into the beautiful Bhutanese cliffs, where time slows down and tradition remains paramount.
The temple complex was originally built in 1692, and is said to be the one-time home of prominent Himalayan Buddhist, Padmasambhava. Apparently, he stayed here and meditated for three years straight, which I thought was crazy until I actually saw the place – Now, I get it, it’s pretty remarkable.
The ancient monastery gets its name from the legend that Padmasambhava arrived to this location on the back of a flying Tigress during the 8th century.
Believe them or not, the Buddhist religion has some of the coolest legends I’ve heard – those guys have stories for days!
In 1998, a massive fire destroyed most of the main complex and has only just recently been completely restored (2005).
On the day we set out to climb up to the Tiger’s Nest, our crew wanted to beat the crowds, so we started early and hiked fast.
We left our hotel at 7AM and made the short drive through the Paro Valley to the mountain’s base.
Thanks to our early arrival, we had the trail virtually to ourselves, as tourist buses just started rolling in and getting organized.
We dashed into the woods, over the streams and past the smaller temples. The climb was mostly uphill, but the views along the way only pushed us harder.
It took us almost exactly one hour to reach our destination, and walking up to that first viewpoint was absolutely breathtaking…
The Tiger’s Nest is one of those places where no matter how many photos you’ve seen, nothing prepares you for witnessing its beauty first-hand.
White, red and gold, layered colors, organized perfectly along the jagged cliff-face. An incredibly peaceful energy filled the air, and besides our heavy breathing, it was perfectly quiet.
We took our time at each viewpoint and then made the steep stair-climb down and up to enter the monastery (no photos allowed).
Along with the main Tiger’s nest complex seen in all the photos, there are many smaller temples above and around the main site that are beautiful and remote as well.
Inside the Tiger’s Nest complex was quiet, peaceful, and incredibly surreal. The views of the Paro Valley below were amazing and the religious scenes inside were captivating.
If I was ever able to sit in one place quietly for hours at a time… this would be it. I would say it has to be the best place in the world to read a good book.
Or maybe the perfect place to begin our super-secret ninja training! Apparently, we just missed the open League of Shadows try-outs today.
All-in-all, the Tiger’s nest was one of the most amazing structures I’ve ever seen. The trek up was quick and the views down were stunning. To be honest, the experience reminded me a lot of my experience at Machu Picchu, Peru a few years ago.
There is an indescribable energy at both that is so unique and special. I know I’ve said it before, but If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend coming to Bhutan.
Here is a quick clip from our trek to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro, Bhutan…
Watch the full video of our Journey into the Kingdom of Bhutan.
See more Bhutan Photos.
This trip was made possible by the amazing guides at Yeoong Tours & Travels. Thank you!