Tiger’s Nest Monastery - Pako Taktsang
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery or "Pako Taktsang" is one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan
The Tigers Nest Monastery in Bhutan is popularly known as Pako Taktsang in local accent which is a sacred site for Buddhist lying in the cliff of Himalayas. This perched temple is one of the breathtaking spot situated in upper Paro valley of Bhutan. This Buddhist place is built on the rock of a mountain around 1962 AD. The ingenious temple was erected by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye which became the iconic symbol of Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava have meditated in Taktsang Senge Samdup cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in 8th century where later Pako Taktsang was constructed. Padmasambhava is the first person to introduce Buddhism in Bhutan. A day in the month of March or April is celebrated as a Tsechu festival in the memory of Padmasambhava in Paro valley. Since there is no any genuine road for reaching temple, youngsters and religious people prefer hiking up to tigers nest in Bhutan. Visitors have to trek hours of journey. Though it is tiresome but the views of mountains and green forest on the way makes it simpler.
History of Pako Taktsang
The name Taktsang refers to Tiger’s liar which is literally believed that Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche flew to this place from Tibet in the back of a tigress. Hence, the place is named so Pako Taktsang and Tiger’s nest monastery in English. He was a Brahmin who through his own personal dedication spread Buddhism in Bhutan and Tibet in 700s also revered as the holy Buddha himself. Guru performed his meditations inside the mountainous cave in eight different manifestations which makes this place sacred. Consequently, the place becomes the tigers nest. Form the collateral evidence it is proved that, the founder of temple i.e. Tenzin Rabgye was always present within the premises for feeding all the visitors. Even it is believed that a small amount of food was sufficient to feed each and every traveler. It is interesting to know that in spite of dangerous and unreliable path to tiger nest monastery, no one gets injured during the worship. The local tribes of Paro valley used to see different forms of animals and religious symbols in the sky also the showering of flowers which falls from the sky and disappear in the air without touching earth. Many saints, distinguished figures came to Takstang Lakhang for meditation. Paintings inside the monastery are indistinctly recognized in the rocks above the principal building.
The Modern Tiger’s Monastery
Tiger’s monastery was caught by fire on April 19, 1998 in the main building which destroys all the paintings, artifacts, Buddha statues and valuable manuscripts carrying a long history. The monastery was reconstructed spending an amount around 22 million dollar. During the 17th century Terton Pema Lingpa constructed monasteries different parts of Bhutan. The Tiger’s Monastery consists of four main temples which adapt the shelters from the huge rocks. The dark cave inside monastery holds the variety of images of Bodhisattvas . It is an incredible monastery consisting of history which seems like a tale, artifacts, religious beliefs and represent the inception of Buddhism in Bhutan.