Tiger’s nest Bhutan, the ultimate guide to hiking in Paro Taktsang
- Table of Contents
- Overview of Tiger's nest bhutan
- Tiger's nest monastery
- Ways to get to Bhutan
- Trip facts
- Best time to visit Bhutan
- Best time to go Tiger's Nest
- Some travel tips
- Physical fiitness
Tiger’s nest Bhutan is known as the heavenly beauty for its mountain ranges, its monasteries and temples, its purity and simplicity of lifestyle, and most importantly, its association with the Happiness of Index. It is known as the kingdom of Happiness. Anyone traveling to Bhutan cannot escape seeing the beauty of Tiger’s Nest Bhutan.
Tiger’s Nest Bhutan Trek is a fascinating and exotic trek that is beyond your expectations. The Tigers Nest Trek is the most popular and recognized tourist spot in Bhutan and is also known as Paro Taktsang. It is the prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site, and the geographical location of the temple is in the Cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan. Dated back to the history, the temple was first built in 1692 AD, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave.
It is said that Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated in that cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours in the 8th century. Hence Padmasambhaya was the first person to introduce Buddhism in Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country. If you are a travel person and want to quench your thirst for wanderlust, then Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery should be on the top of the bucket list. Despite the daily visits by tourists, Paro Taktsang still functions as a monastery today.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located 10 miles north of Paro (20 minutes by car), making Paro the perfect home base when making this visit. Since most people can only visit Bhutan on an organized tour, Above the Himalaya team will arrange this wonderful tour for you. Paro Taktsang is considered as the thirteen tiger lair caves in which he has meditated.
The temple of the Guru with eight Names (was devoted to Padmasambhava), has an elegant structure built around the cave in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. A famous festival named Tsechu is celebrated in the Paro valley during March or April in honor of Padmasambhava. People from all around the world visit this extraordinary place.
The physical structure of Tigers Nest Monastery can be described as a small collection of buildings unstable perched on a cliff 900 meters off the ground.
The exciting story behind the name Tigers Nest evolved when the legend Guru Rinpoche was carried from the Tibet to this location on the back of the tigress. Today the monastery comprises four temples with residential accommodations for the monks.
Overview of the visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a short, enjoyable trip which is doable for every person. It takes a full day to visit this Monastery. During the visit, it takes an easy four /five hour to do the round trip hike, an additional one hour to tour the Monastery on average. Many people also have lunch in the cafeteria close to the monastery.
Ways to get to Bhutan:
Bhutan consists of the only international airport and two airlines operating flights to Bhutan.
Daily flights run from Kathmandu to Paro and return also. However, the schedule of the flights may be changed. Please verify with your agency before booking your tour packages.
Most importantly, October and April being the peak season. Make sure you book your ticket, packages as soon as possible. You can enter Bhutan from the land port, but you must travel through India.
Ways to get to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Due to the geographic location, the means to get to the monastery is only by hiking. There are no vehicles that make the drive up to the monastery. However, you can hire a horse to carry you to the half-way, for those who cannot hike the entire way. Trip to Tiger Nest Monastery is an easy task due to its quite comfortable journey and altitude.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is 10 km north of Paro, and it is a 20 minutes car-drive from Paro. The visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery can take between 6 hours to a full day based upon your trip itinerary. To this, you need to add one more hour to tour the monastery and enjoy a serene environment. Many people also prefer to have lunch in the cafeteria located midway on the hike.
There are two ways to make the round trip to Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan.
You can ride a horse halfway up and hike rest of the way
you can take the car or vehicle from the Paro to reach to the base of the mountains.
Afterward, you can take a ride on horse/donkey/pony/mule halfway up. The animal will take you from the base of the valley base to midway. You can continue hiking up from there.
While, on returning, you will need to walk as the animals are not allowed to carry people downhill.
Some facts about the trip
Distance: 12 km/4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 900 m
Highest Elevation: 3,120m
Time: 5 to 7 hours for the entire visit/ tour/ hike
Trail: A wide, dirt trail. Uphill the entire way.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery lies at an altitude of 3120m. You will gain 900m in elevation from the start of your hike to this place. Tiger’s Nest ranks among the top 10 places to visit in Bhutan.
The trail to Tiger’s Nest in dry weather is dry soil, sand, rocks, and gravel – dirt path. You get spectacular views from different places of the hike.
The entire hike on foot can take anywhere from 5-6 hours without including the breaks and rest stops.
Best time to Travel to Bhutan:
Bhutan can serve as the best tourist destination throughout the year. However, Talking to the best time to visit Bhutan, March to May, and September to December are the most favorable time to enjoy the scenic beauty of Bhutan. Besides, these other months are not so preferred for its specific reasons. Monsoon seasons starting from June to August will have a heavy continuous rainfall most of the time. It makes the road slippery, and the view becomes unclear due to before rain and after rainfall weather.
In winter, the temperatures will be decreased to below zero in the mountain region, making it hard to survive.
Tigers Nest can serve its best view during the time of October to December.
During this period, the weather is crystal clear and cold. Apart from this, the non-snowy, moderate temperature is what every trekker is seeking to make their journey exceptionally enjoyable. Spring and Autumn seasons are considered best because of its modest heat with sunny and warm weather favoring the trekker to capture stunning views. Visitors can enjoy the dynamic landscapes this season. Solo travelers can opt for winter as in this time; the trail is less crowded. It is suggested that the visitor must have enough warm clothes to travel in winter.
Some tips for traveling to Tiger’s Nest Bhutan
• Keep yourself hydrated to make your journey comfortable.
• Slow and steady is the ideal pace for any trek or hike. You’ll gain elevation very fast. Hence, you may feel short of breath. Make sure to rest when necessary. Thus, climb at your own pace.
• Paro Taktsang is a monastery along with many religious statues and monks around. You must follow the dress etiquette in mind. Avoid shorts, T-shirts, sleeveless tops, etc.
• As the ticket counter only opens at 7:00 am, you are urged to verify with your guide for confirmation of time.
• You’ll need to remove shoes, hats, caps, and sunglasses before entering the temples and monastery.
• You need to put on comfortable boots with ankle support, which makes for a pleasant walk. Wearing slippers will make you hard to walk. Wear thicker darker shocks.
• Sweater or summer jackets should be carried with yourself to protect yourself from the wind.
• You’ll need to store your bags, cameras, mobile phones in lockers right before you enter the monastery.
• The tour vehicles can only stop at the car park at the valley base. The only ways up from the car park are by foot or on an animal.
• At the Monastery entrance, you need to keep the belongings, including mobile phones in a locker. So carry lock and keys to lock the locker.
• You will find the cafeteria mid-way. The animal ride will take you till here. From here, you need to walk. You can also have lunch or rest here.
• Having a walking stick with you for the hike is a great idea. The walking sticks will help you with balance, especially for the downhill climb.
• Bringing some snacks or energy bars will be helpful in replenishing energy during the hike.
Physical Fitness and Health Condition
Tiger Nest Tour is a natural, doable hike that any travel enthusiast with average physical fitness can complete and enjoy.
However, Individuals with respiratory/heart/knee problems can find this hike to be challenging.
The hike duration may vary depending on the trekker’s walking pace. Walk on your one pace and listen to your body so that you can enjoy the journey to the fullest.
For people in their early 60s, climbing Tiger’s Nest indeed posed a challenge, but it was a test of our will-power and tenacity. However, with the combination of proper itinerary management and customer handling of the travel agency, you can accomplish your journey happily. You may want to bring hiking poles to help out your knees on the descent, whereas some people chose to stop at the viewpoint with the row of prayer wheels or prefer to call it a day at the cafeteria and turn back.
You should always monitor your fitness and walk accordingly. For those with the physically fit health and having enough previous hiking experience, then you can choose to hike from the bottom of the cliff. Luckily, you can take a ride on horse/mule donkey to reach the mid-way if you feel unfit to walk to the top.
Tiger Nest’s serves you with the best photogenic vibes. The best lighting for photography is midday. The monastery will be in the shadow of the mountain until 11 am during October. Getting here early helps to avoid some of the crowds, but you will still need to wait until midday for the best photographs.
You should bring hiking shoes, lots of water, a few snacks, and your camera as well as other belongings. You can go to the cafeteria to buy your lunch or tea. All in all, Tiger Nest Bhutan is a natural and amazing view and its adventure as well. Day hike will be enough to the experience of the Tiger nest. Anybody would like the art, scenic views of the tiger nest, and the view from the tiger nest.
Wishing a happy Journey to all going to Paro Thaksang and Above the Himalaya team will be delighted to cooperate with you and assure you to make your journey awesome.