July 6, 2022
Tiger’s Nest Monastery: An Iconic Site in Bhutan
One of the most iconic sites in Bhutan is Tiger’s Nest Monastery, a breathtaking Buddhist complex clinging to the side of vertiginous cliffs in the foothills of the Himalayas.
The gravity-defying temple complex (also known as Taktsang Goemba) is a highlight of a visit to the Himalayan kingdom, and Artisans of Leisure includes private day excursions to Tiger’s Nest on all of our private Bhutan tours.
Tiger’s Nest was constructed in the 17th century to commemorate the founding of Buddhism in Bhutan. Legend has it that a flying tigress carried Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava), a revered monk and central figure in Tibetan Buddhism, to the remote location in the eighth century. The complex was built around the cave where, according to tradition, the guru meditated for three years.
Cliffside stairways connect the eight caves, four main temple buildings and monk residences of the Tiger’s Nest complex. Its traditional Bhutanese architecture of solid white walls, intricate wooden balconies and gold-trimmed roofs make a visually stunning contrast with the surrounding rock escarpments and forested slopes.
We arrange for travelers on our private Bhutan tours to hike to Tiger’s Nest (elevation 10,236 ft/3,120 m) with their expert local guide. The incredibly atmospheric four-hour roundtrip hike ascends through a pine forest…
…passing flapping prayer flags, spinning prayer wheels and gushing waterfalls en route.
Fit travelers who want to hike all the way to Tiger’s Nest can tour the monastery complex with one of the monks and learn about daily life there.
For travelers wanting a less strenuous hike, we recommend having us arrange a hike part way up the mountain, stopping at a teahouse with spectacular views of the monastery overhead. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a cup of tea and soak up the views before returning to Paro. Another great option is a scenic helicopter flight to take in stunning views from the air.
Contact Artisans of Leisure to begin planning a private Bhutan tour featuring Tiger’s Nest Monastery and other scenic and architectural highlights of this stunning and deeply traditional country.