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“Calling on the enduring spirit with a heavy backpack!!”

Taktsang Palphug Monastery
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$955.00*
and up
3-Nights Highlight Tour of Bhutan from Paro
Ranked #1 of 26 things to do in Paro
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Calling on the enduring spirit with a heavy backpack!!”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We did the hike to Tigers Nest with my 3 year old daughter on my back...Calling on the enduring spirit with a heavy backpack. I was quite excited and geared up for the hike!! this did not last long once we got to see where we are headed!! TAKTSHANG GOEMBA or TIGER'S NEST - most famous of Bhutan's monastries, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff above the Paro valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche flew to the monastery on the back of a Tigress!!The only way up is to walk or fly on the back of a magic Tiger (we had to walk as the Tiger is reserved for Tantric magicians)... The trail climbs thru Blue pines, then switchbacks steeply up the ridge where this sign exhorts you to "Walk to Guru's Glory".
We met quite a few porters on our way... Hats off to these folks!! they carry wood logs for the monastery renovations!!Met a guy whose name was Sonam (one of the most common names in Bhutan)... Hotel Management graduate from IHM Aurangabad,India, did his internship with Taj Group... he was carrying stuff (food etc) for his Monk uncle who is medidating some place in the hills even he doesnt know... Hope he found Old Monk ;)
This site has been recognised as a NEY or holy place...built in 1692. In 1998 a fire destroyed the main structure and almost all its contents. Reconstructed in 2000 at a cost of 130 million rupees.Once you reach the ridge, there are excellent views across the valley. To the Southwest is the area around Drukgyel, you can see the large school below the village and the Army camp above it.
The main trail brings you to a spectacular lookout at 3140 metres that puts you eyeball to eyeball with the monastery, which looks like it is growing out of the rocks. From this vantage point Taktshang seems almost close enough to touch.... But its not over yet ......From the vantage point it is on the far side of a deep chasm, about 150 meters away.
The trail descends to a waterfall and the Singye Phu Lhakhang (Snow Lion Cave), a meditation retreat jammed dramatically into a rock crevice. It's a great feeling when you finally reach there. A must visit while you are in Bhutan!!!

Visited June 2012
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Thank ashimprabhakar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mumbai
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“Just one word to describe it: Stunning”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

The trek to the monastery is a tough 3.5 hours of steep climbing.

But it's every bit worth the effort. Once you reach this point (after the canteen which is half-way), around a bend which is full of prayer flags, you suddenly see the monastery in front of you.

What hits you is the *scale* of the stunning structure!

And the prayer flags. Impossibly long ropes tied across kms constantly fluttering in the strong breeze create a magical atmosphere around this holy place.

Don't miss it!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank nips_manny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paro, Bhutan
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Glorious hike around Taktsang”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Everybody hike up to Taktsang, visit the monastery and goes back, but the hike can be extended up to Ugyen Tshemo and Zangtopelri monastery, the views are totally different, walk is worth all the sweats, but you need to have a strong pair leg and most importantly strong determination. You can go back by differnet route, making clock wise around the most sacred monasteries. This will remind you of the poem by Robert Frost, "A road not taken," and have it known, "how it made all the differences". Don't forget pack lunch and enough water. Enjoy hike.

Visited March 2013
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Thank TseringP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great spot, and interesting journey to reach it!”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Having an early start has some advantages, but also disadvantages. We were at the car park, our starting point, before 8am. As it was a relatively hot and sunny day at the end of March, the morning temperature was fantastic for a tiring hike. On the way down, around midday, we saw some elderly brave tourists, out of breath, sweating, who just started their hike. We were only guessing if they could possibly get to the destination. However, I would agree with a comment from one of the previous reviews about the light. The afternoon sun would highlight the Tiger’s Nest better, and thus make the photos more interesting.
Also, some advice for those contemplating to ride the horses…make sure that the horse you hire is strong and solid. As a person of lightweight I was given a very skinny horse that collapsed under my weight of 50kg while stepping down and subsequently I landed on the ground. I was told afterwards that the horse had a problem with his leg, so I requested another one, and the journey up was a pleasant one this time. Also, the horses like to walk very close to the edge of the cliff, which at times could be a bit frightening for these with limited horse riding experience.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Inetta04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trivandrum
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An experience to remember”
Reviewed April 24, 2013

I wont go in details about the terrain and condition as other reviewers have already done so.
All I would say is the trek is really worth the effort, though tough and tiring when you reach the final rest point before the staircase starts for the monastery ; the feeling is truly divine and takes you back in time ( offcourse depends on how much the place is crowded :-) )

Overall the monastery is peaceful and calm, and you will feel relaxed inside the monastery. There is nothing commercial about it and you can visit most of the chambers while the monks go about their daily chores.

Few words of advise
---------------------------
Carry warm clothes as the monastery is very windy and can get very chilly ; even though you will get hot & sweaty during the trek ( so a good jacket or sweater / pullover is recommended )

The cafeteria enroute can be very costly so its advisable to carry a packed lunch and a flask of tea.

Carry plenty of water though there is a water tap around half way mark.

The route is steep and can be challenging but definitely doable, start early and go slow. Take plenty of rest breaks if you feel like it and don't over stretch\ exert.

Oh yes set aside a full day for this visit don't try to rush it, if you start at 8am you would be back only by around 4 pm


If you dont have your own food\drinks , then the cafeteria around halfway mark is your only source of food\drinks.


Don't forget your permit , you need to show it there.


All the best and enjoy your trek

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Dimitrz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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