How to Get the Most out of Your Visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

How to Get the Most out of Your Visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Resting perilously on a cliff of Bhutan’s Paro Valley, the Paro Taktsang commonly called Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a legendary Buddhist site surrounded by myths and true natural beauty. You can choose Paro Taktsang as your next adventure spot by booking a trip with a travel agent in Bhutan. This monastery draws the attention of all adventure lovers, and spiritual seekers from different parts of the globe. 

Tiger’s Nest has four temples and different caves for meditation which are connected by staircases. It is said that Guru Rinpoche meditated in one of the caves of the Tiger’s Nest monastery for more than 3 years in the 8th century. According to the legends Guru Rinpoche reached the Paro Taktsang by flying at the back of a tigress and hence was named Tiger’s Nest Monastery afterwards. 

Important tips to follow while visiting the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

  • Owing to the rocky and uneven trails of the Tiger’s Nest monastery you must always pack a comfortable sturdy pair of shoes and enjoy the beautiful view of the location without facing any accidents
  • The temperature in the higher elevation of the trails to the monastery can vary at different times of the day. Thus it is advisable to dress in different layers. 
  • While going for the hike you can pack plenty of food and water to stay hydrated properly. 
  • You must respect the holiness of the monastery and avoid making loud noises and any kind of disruptive behaviour along with dressing modestly to maintain the peace of the monastery without disturbing anyone. 
  • Spend your time immersing in the other-worldly atmosphere of the Tiger’s Nest monastery and its surrounding beauty and make the most out of your trip. 
  • You can capture the serene beauty of the Tiger’s Nest with your camera by taking pictures in the mid-day. The monastery normally remains shrouded by the mountain’s shadow until 11 am. Thus waiting until mid-day for taking a picture is a good idea. 
  • As the place is bound to get very crowded during the rush hours you can always start your trek very early in the morning and avoid facing the crowd thus peacefully enjoying your quality time. 
  • One of the best ways to make the most out of your trip to the Tiger’s Nest is by going slow. You can take some breaks in between your trek and have your lunch in their famous cafeteria to be able to savour their local delicacies. 
  • You must avoid taking any of your valuables with you during the trek and deposit your wallet, mobile phones as well as your cameras in the monastery’s locker after checking their security properly. 
  • You can also consider carrying hiking poles with you if you feel that your stamina will not allow you to cover the entire trek without getting tired. 
  • It is also advisable to carry as light items as possible during the time of your hike so that you can walk comfortably down the steep trails.
  • If you are not a regular hiker and it’s your first time trekking you must avoid carrying any type of heavy cameras or tripods rather you can try picking a phone with good camera quality to capture good-quality pictures. 
  • If you feel unsure about your energy you can also consider hiring a horse to take you some of the way up to the monastery. 
  • There is only one restroom in the Tiger’s Nest monastery which is located in the cafe near the horse stop; hence you can use the restroom at this point to complete the rest of the journey comfortably. 
  • While going through your trek you must visit all the seven temples which are open to the general public, your guide will give you detailed information about each temple’s history. 
  • You can also do proper research and gain a new experience by camping and staying for an entire night at the top of the hiking trail.  

Best time to make a trip to the Tiger’s Nest monastery

If you want to witness the true beauty of the Tiger’s Nest you must visit the place during the month of March-May or September- November. As the weather remains mild during these seasons, the comfortable weather along with the clear skies makes it an ideal time for hiking. The encompassing scenery becomes vibrant with wildflower blooming or golden foliage during the spring or autumn season respectively.

As the Paro Taktsang is a very popular tourist spot it remains very crowded during the holiday period. If you want to truly enjoy the view of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery you can visit the place during the off-peak seasons. You can book your trip in advance owing to the popularity of the place with one of the best Bhutan travel agencies and spend a quality vacation with your friends and family.  The Tiger’s Nest remains open during the period between 8 am-1 pm and 2 pm-6 pm. But you can still trek in the surrounding places of the monastery outside of this period. 

Routes to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Reaching the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is also very adventurous and enjoyable. You will have to start your journey from the bottom at Paro town. You can get a taxi or a tour guide from here up to the trailhead and can hire a horse if you want. You will get your first view of the Tiger’s Nest after covering the trees which surround the parking lot. 

The hike is almost 7.2 kilometres and might take almost about 4-6 hours depending on your fitness as well as your pace. The trail is very uphill though it is well-maintained it can get quite steep in some sections. The entire way up to the Tiger’s Nest is surrounded by breath-taking viewpoints which will make you awe-struck. However, you must wear your safety gear and carry a bottle of water to avoid facing any accidents. 

As you approach the monastery you will witness praying flags which are gracefully fluttering with the wind blowing along with chanting of the monks. Your heart is bound to be filled with peace with this sight. The trail levels up a bit at its half point; you will be able to spin some prayer wheels at this point and get a mesmerising view of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. 

Some people tend to complete their hike at this point as well after having their lunch at the Taktsang Cafeteria and don’t complete the entire final climb. The second part of the trek to the Tiger’s Nest is easier and less monotonous; the trail gets less steep while you approach the monastery eventually. 

However, the best view of the entire hike is the place from where you get to overlook the entire monastery. You can click the most iconic picture at this point of the hike. You just have to take a small walk with a stone staircase from this point, after crossing a bridge which is filled with several praying flags and making a strenuous climb you will finally reach the Tiger’s Nest monastery. 

Foods to try on your visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

A trip can never be completed without trying out the place’s unique dishes. Paro is known for its variety of delicious foods which showcases the culinary tradition and unique flavours of the country. Some of the most delicious dishes that you can try during your visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery are-

Ema Datshi- This Bhutanese dish is very popular and is made with cheese and chilli pepper. It is mostly served along with a bowl of rice and is very spicy. 

Jaha Maroo- This dish is served with either rice or flatbread and is very flavourful. 

Red Rice- This rice is very flavourful and nutty and is served along with other different dishes. 

You can witness the scenic beauty and the rich cultural heritage of the Tiger’s Nest monastery by making a trip to Paro with the help of a travel agent in Bhutan. You can take a spiritual vacation and get to know about the preaching of Guru Rinpoche along with creating memories that will remain with you for a lifetime. 

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