Bhutan: a hidden gem in Asia

Taktsang Lhakhang is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious site .

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Paro Taktsang  the popular name of Taktsang Palphug Monastery , also known as Tiger’s Nest). It is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex, located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley, in Bhutan. A temple complex was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup  cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he meditated.

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A visit to the Tiger’s Nest monastery is typically on the last few days of most itineraries to Bhutan, after a round trip from Paro (upon arrival at Bhutan airport at Paro) to Thimphu and Punakha cities and back to Paro.  It is usually planned this way to allow tourists to acclimatise to the higher altitudes of Bhutan so that they could be more prepared to trek up the trail to Tiger’s Nest monastery which is about 300o metres above sea level.

The only way to visit Tiger’s Nest monastery up close is to either: Hike for 2 – 4 hours uphill (depending on your speed and fitness); or Ride a rented horse which is slightly faster.

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Luxury 5-star hotels are a rarity in Bhutan, although you’ll find some in Paro and a few other places.

I suggest thorough research into hotels and guides before your trip. I am sure you will have lots of stories to share 🙂  Enjoy the myriad unique views of Asia, rich in culture and diversity.

For more info : http://www.tourism.gov.bt/

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