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Tigers Nest - Bhutan's most iconic monastery
The Tigers nest monastery is likely the most iconic structure in Bhutan. Located on the Cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan, it is a sacred Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist site.
The story of Takstang comes from 747 AD when Guru Padmasambhava chose the cave in the sheer rock face to meditate. The legend goes that he flew to the site on the back of a tigress and meditated in the caves for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days, and 3 hours so that he could subdue evil demons that lived in it. Since then the cave has been considered sacred and has become an important pilgrimage site. The sacred structure sits at 3,120m (10,240ft) above sea level, perched on the edge of a cliff in the upper Paro Valley. Shrouded in folklore and myth, the monastery consists of four temples adorned with Buddhas, cotton tapestries and frescos of enlightened beings.
Numerous miracles are associated with the monastery, such as sightings of mysterious flowers that appear in the air, only to disappear before touching the ground. The Guru has also been spotted both inside and outside the cave at the same time. The hike to the temple takes around five hours and travellers will pass through a dense forest and emerge on the edge of a rocky chasm, where they will need to climb down to a trickling waterfall and then back up the cliff face to the monastery on the other side. Added to its rich history, the monastery boasts magnificent views over green valleys and mountain ranges.
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