Taktsang Dzong in Paro

Photo of Taktsang Dzong in Paro, Paro
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Taktsang Dzong
Also known as:Tiger's Nest Monestary

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One of the most amazing and important pieces of architecture in Bhutan, the Taktsang Dzong defies logic, gravity, and reason in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. Monks spent years creating this fortress on the side of a cliff above Paro. It consists of both the superficial structure we see ("lhakhang") as well as Pelphug Lhakhang, the spiritual temple made out of a cave that has been in use for centuries. Legend is that this is the location where in 747 Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tiger, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. His actions helped tame the evil spirits in the area. This, combined with its amazing location is the reason it is the most visited monastery in the country, and the location where many of Buddhism's most famous clerics have meditated. It is said that Buddhist monks wearing traditional slippers can walk to Taktsang Dzong from Paro in as little two hours, while even experienced westerners outfitted with the most modern hiking boots can take twice as long.

Quick Facts
Timeline
  • April 19, 1998 - The monastery burns down. Three monks are killed. Hundreds of priceless artifacts are lost: paintings on silk, religious texts, and icond. The lone monk who takes care of the site is never found. The dzong is lit by hundreds of oil lamps. It is believed that one of those lamps started the blaze.
  • 2004 - The monastery reopens.
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