Tiger’s nest Temple | Bhutan
Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest Temple monastry is definitely the most famous temple or monastry in Bhutan. Built in 1692, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched precariously on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in Paro Valley, is one of the most holiest places in Bhutan.
Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, flew onto the cliff on the back of a tigress, and then meditated in a cave which now exists within the monastery walls. He is revered as the second Buddha because of his major contribution in the spread of Buddhism from Tibet to Bhutan.What is remarkable about the Tigers Nest Monastery is the variation of the four temples that appear different from one another.
Yeshe Tsogyal the former wife of an Emperor joined his group and willingly became a flying tigress to bear the guru to the cliff top of Bhutan where the Taktshang Monastery presently stands. One of the caves became the meditation spot for Guru Rinpoche who came out with his eight manifestations and later it was venerated as the holy spot for the monastery.
The original construction of the Tigers Nest Monastery has an equally interesting tale behind it. It is said that notwithstanding the sheer cliff face where Guru Rinpoche decided to land, the air-borne dakinis bore building material on their backs to facilitate the construction process.
Legend has it that the gold statue of Guru Rimpochey was just too heavy for the men carrying it up the mountainside (When hiking up the steep steps from 2200m – 3100m you can really appreciate that it would have been hard for them!). This caused the statue to speak out and tell the men just to leave it there on the mountainside. They obeyed the statue’s command and continued their ascent to the cave. When they arrived, they found that the statue was already there in place in the shrine as it had flown on ahead of them.
A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honour of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.