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Paro Taktsang, Bhutan’s revered tiger’s nest temple

Taktshang Monastery, Bhutan
Douglas J. McLaughlin (Photograph edited by Vassil), Taktshang edit, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bhutan is one of the most intriguing nations in the world, and a real rising star where international tourism is concerned. The unspoilt geography of the country is breath-taking in its beauty and provides a true escape into a natural paradise. As a result Bhutan is fast becoming one of the most visited places in the world with many of the nation’s attractions being featured in travel blogs such as Well Known Places.

A concept that is iconic of Bhutan is the paro, which is essential a mix between a temple and a fortress. There are many of these incredible structures to be found around the nation, but one of the most notable is the Paro Taktsang, which has become one Bhutan’s major cultural icons.

The temple was built in honour of Guru Padhmasambhava during 1692. This was due to the fact that this great spiritual leader, who some regard as the second incarnation of the Buddha had arrived to this site and meditated for a period of three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. He had carried out his meditation within the thirteen ‘tiger-caves’


Taktsang translates into Tiger-Cave and there are many different legends that explain the origin of the name. Some say it is due to the thirteen caves that are present at the site.

There are others who would say that Guru Padhmasambhava rode to the mountain where the caves are situated on the back of a mythical tigress capable of flight.

Some believe that this tigress was the wife of Emperor Yeshe Tsogyal, and she transformed into this form to carry the sacred guru safely to the mountain. There’s a third myth that claims there was a Tiger Demon present within the caves.

Shrouded in mystical mythology this temple-fortress is definitely an essential visit if you find yourself in the captivating country of Bhutan.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+