The Legend of Guru Rinpoche

Over thousand years ago, Guru Rinpoche arrived in Paro, Bhutan on the back of a grand tigress. For 3 months after that, he meditated in a cave nestled deep within a mountain. This is where the Taksang Lakhang or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery was built.

The monastery is perched on the edge of a cliff and makes one wonder as to how something like this could be built at such a precarious spot. The trek up to the monastery takes about 3 hours. The path meanders through thickly forested slopes sprinkled with dew. En-route you see clouds floating all around!

You will also find little stupas made in the memory of dead people. These are moulded out of ash, clay and mud, and are placed away from direct sunlight and rain.

Mini Stupa

Mini Stupa

Monks trekking to Tiger's Nest

Monks trekking to Tiger’s Nest

Views on the trek

Views on the trek

Trek to Tiger's Nest

Trek to Tiger’s Nest

Trekking with the monk

Trekking with the monk

Trekking to Thanksang Lakhang

Soaking in all these beautiful sights, I reached the point from where I could get a clear glimpse of the Taksang Lakhang. At this point, it felt like I could reach out and hold the beautiful monastery in my hands…

Tiger's nest monastery

Tiger’s nest monastery

From this point onwards, a feeling of calm started descending upon us. Inside the monastery, it’s a different world altogether. It seems that the place has the potential to calm even the most turbulent of souls.

Taksang Lakhang depicts a number of reincarnations of Guru Rinpoche.

Prayer flags at Tiger's nest

Prayer flags at Tiger’s nest

Photographing the Tiger’s nest, Takhsang Lakhang

The Monastery is west facing, so I decided to wait till afternoon to get the right lighting. Alas, by lunch time the weather gods decided to side against me, and out came with cloud from behind the mountains. The bright sunny day became overcast and windy. After waiting for a while, hoping that weather will change again, I decided to hike back. Shortly after I started the hike, it started pouring furiously and the rest as they say is history. All my hopes for clicking pictures of the monastery (in the right light) were washed away.

By the time I reached the parking lot, I was completely drenched. But even then, hiking through thickly forested slopes in heavy rain has its own charm. The simple joys of childhood – of jumping in mud puddles, splish sploshing in water, getting wet in the rain – all came right back and made the whole experience so beautiful.

Now waiting to go back and re-live the entire experience again…


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