Taktshang Goemba, or more commonly known as the Tiger’s Nest, is one of Bhutan’s most revered and most photographed monuments. It is built on a sheer 1,000 meter cliff face. The people of Bhutan believe that Guru Rinpoche, the father of Bhutanese Buddhism, landed here on the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days, and 3 hours in order to subdue the evil demons residing in it. The temple is about 3,200 meters high and visitors usually hike for 2-3 hours to reach it. There are no roads for cars to drive up so the only way is to hike or hire a horse for part of the way. We copped out and took a horse ride for about half of the way up. We left the lodge at around 8:45am and returned around 1:30pm, so the roundtrip hike and visit took us about 4 hours. This iconic landmark is not to be missed and our trip to Bhutan would not be complete without coming here.
After picking out our horse near the parking lot, we began our journey up to Tiger’s Nest.
The horses like to walk extremely close to the edge of the cliff. But even so, it was not too scary a ride.
So glad we opted for the horse ride. We passed many people huffing and puffing their way up the mountain.
After about 45 minutes ride, we arrived at the halfway point which is also where the cafeteria is located. From here you have to dismount your horses and continue up on foot.
First glimpse of Tiger’s Nest
The uphill hike is not overly steep but it helps to have a hiking pole.
Many prayer flags along the way.
First viewpoint of Tiger’s Nest where you overlook the monastery.
I think the second viewpoint is the best place to take that iconic photo.
Then the path starts to descend before you have to go up again to reach the monastery.
There is a small hidden monastery before you reach the steps leading up to Tiger’s Nest.
Just when you thought you are finally there, you have to go up a tons of steps!
There are lockers to the right where you have to leave your backpacks, cameras, and mobiles before entering the temple.
After visiting the temple, you have to go back down and then up a series of steps before starting your descent down the mountain.
Sitting here admiring the view while catching my breath. One can never get tired of this stunning view of Tiger’s Nest precariously perched on the cliff.
After our exhilarating hike up to Tiger’s Nest, we returned to Amankora for some well deserved lunch and a much needed massage. This concludes our journey in Bhutan. The following day, we boarded our flight in Paro to return back to Bangkok. These 8 days went by too quickly and there is still so much to see in this mysterious and peaceful nation that is slowly emerging into the modern world. You really have to come here to experience this last existing Shangri-La and I, for one, would definitely be back.
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