Taktsang Monastery – Seeking Smiles from a Familiar Face

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I have been to Taktsang Monastery few times in past. But all along I haven’t looked at it from a genuine traveller’s perspective. When tourists who travel to Bhutan are so obsessed about Taktsang Monastery and make sure they undertake Taktsang Monastery Trek, I was wondering the reasons. Except for Tiger’s Nest Height and its location being among scary and precarious cliffs, I didn’t see anything special about Taktsang Monastery.

In past one week, I was at Bangkok City. Being immersed in hot tropical climate and busy city life, my soul was on a constant search for something distant. And then when I undertook Taktsang Monastery Hike the following day I landed Bhutan, I could feel Taktsang Monastery indeed has many things my soul was searching. The whole moment of walking through Taktsang Monastery Trek Distance was like a fish appreciating ocean when it’s only out of water.

In one and half hours’ hike to Taktsang Monastery, things that came up were beyond my expectation – this time. Instagram-worth scenic views, lush distant hills and well-tended distant fields made me romanticize the nature’s simplicity in this unblemished corner of Paro.

Taktsang Monastery Hike – A journey of patience & endurance

Taktsang Monastery looks like its wooden model that we find in Bhutanese Handicraft Shops, being placed in a chime of cliff from its base. It looks near but out of my experience, I know it’s just a visual trick. Unlike for Guru who flew there riding on a flying tigress using his tantric power, it’s as laborious climbing up as it’s knee-wrenching coming down for normal human like us.

Taktshang Monastery

However, the Tiger’s Nest Trek distance is bit short and goes through a gentle slope with occasional resting spots for photography, drinking and resting for acclimatization. Tourists were riding on horses by paying Nu.700 to make Tiger Nest Monastery Trek Distance appear shorter. I didn’t like the idea as it doesn’t look safe despite the horseman accompanying the rider no matter how long is the hike to Tiger’s Nest.

It was bit cloudy without downpour – a perfect weather for such a short hike in Bhutan. I was thinking how hot it would be had it was cloudless and sunny. I also didn’t bring sunscreen or hat to protect my face.

Taktshang Monastery View

Drinking mineral water frequently and breathing fresh mountain oxygen, I reached at Taktshang Cafeteria after about an hour. It’s the stop where tourists stop for tea or lunch. But I didn’t take lunch there as it would mean extra weight for my already tired limbs and increase in Tiger’s Nest Trek difficulty. I purchased a small bottle juice and continued my journey.

In about 30 minutes I was at the hilltop that is face-to-face with Taktshang Monastery. It’s the best spot for scenic photography of Tiger Nest Monastery and Paro valley. Tourists were making travel videos and shooting Tiger Nest photos. I also took few photos and then descended to its deep gorge over heart pumping steps. Paro valley looks beautiful.

I made there at 11:15 i.e before it closes for one hour lunch break at noon. In about half an hour, I was done visiting all the accessible compartments and shrine rooms of Taktshang Monastery.

Taktsang Monastery Hike – My Realizations & basic Travel Tips

So much Taktsang Monastery looks beautiful from outside, it’s peaceful inside sanctums. All the statues that are inside Tiger’s Nest Monastery are fine works of arts and precision.

However, it’s bit cold inside as floors are just either cemented or rammed earthen layer. Therefore, don’t forget to put warm socks when you travel to Taktshang Monastery.

Paro valley view from Tiger nest view point

When I get out of it and reluctantly walked away from it, I was silently appreciating the beauty of this Tiger Nest Monastery. How far it has come testing time and various erosive effects of globalization still retaining historical anecdotes of Bhutan, I found another reason to be happy in my country Bhutan.

Things to keep in mind when you go Taktsang Monastery Hike

  • The hiking trail isn’t well maintained one. Wear light trekking shoes.
  • It’s windy sometimes. Wear warm pants and jacket.
  • Taking of walking sticks would be good during descends.
  • When you enter temple, warm socks prove really helpful.
  • If weather is sunny, start hike early to avoid scorching sun mid-way.
  • The Monastery is at an altitude of about 3,000 meters.
  • Don’t forget to take raincoat or umbrella. Weather is unpredictable.
  • It’s better to take lunch at cafeteria on return journey.
  • Monastery opens at 9 and closes at 5 with 12-1 lunch break.
  • Don’t carry packed lunch. There is a cafeteria.
  • Don’t forget to take 1-2 bottles of mineral water or cold drink.
  • Keep in mind to use your energy in sustainable manner.
  • Don’t rest too long to avoid your limps becoming lethargic.
  • Take gadget bags/covers to store them when you enter temple.
  • Smoking is a very bad idea. Don’t at all take cigarettes.
  • Shouting, yelling or laughing louder near temple are taboos.

Taktsang Monastery would be paradise for hikers. Trekking through peaceful pine forest of Bhutan listening to your footsteps and listening rhythms of your heartbeat is a rewarding activity. Its location and unique architectural designs also opens door of Bhutan’s historical wonders – which at times are hard to believe without visual experiences.

Recommend to read following travel experiences and exciting travel stories from Bhutan

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About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>

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