Tiger's Nest! This was the sole reason of my Bhutan trip. And I must say, this happened to be the best 7hrs of my life which put tough challenge meanwhile gave the persistence and motivation to finish the challenge! I usually don't go on trek as I am born and brought up in the western ghats of Karnataka where going from one place to another place itself is a trek! But, this trek was an eye opening and motivational thing which is worth remembering for life time!
It was a rainy day and the scene scared me as I have read few blogs on Tiger's nest saying that the difficulty increases exponentially if it rains when you have trek plans to the Tiger's nest. I had a firm decision and started at 8:30 in the morning. After reaching the base, I took a ticket to Taktsang or Tiger's Nest which costed Rs.500. You have to purchase a wooden stick (if you don't have any) necessarily for Rs.50 and you need to return it. I started the trek at 9:03 am and there were comparatively high number of trekkers. Many localites were carrying their infants, cute little children on their backs, shoulders and few kids were joyfully trekking! Eventually I got to know that, that day was Parinirvana day of Budhdha which is quite special day to all the followers of Buddhism. Hence they were taking their children to the holy monastry to seek the blessings of Shakyamuni! One of the localites told me that, that was like 'mannat'! How strange is that right?! We follow different religions,customs,communities but the whole essence of all religion and its practises is the same!
Okey, coming back to trekking matters; it was not at all what I expected!
Almost straight inclination and the tough terrain will lecture you lot about LIFE! Though I had a practice of regular walking,running and all, at certain point of the trek I felt it quite difficult but never gave a thought to discontinue. There are mainly 3 points which are meant to take rest! But I swear on everything that you find youself taking rest for every five minutes of trek!! The one way distance is roughly 4kms but trust me, you take minimum of 3-4hrs to complete that. At the second point
of the trek, there is a cafe from where the marvellous Tiger's Nest looks even more marvellous. Since it was a rainy,foggy day the view wasn't clear but I must say the fog and passing clouds made it even more beautiful!
After 4hrs and 14minutes of quite tough trek I reached Tiger's Nest! Such a great feeling and proud moment for me that is!! Few generous people were serving tea and biscuits to the visitors with a great smile on their face. They almost looked like mahatmas to me. I stepped into the main monastry of Tiger's nest and there was a lady guide who explained the history of the place in a hurry. So I had to join other team members who had come with their own guide and that guide explained everything peacefully and thoroughly. Mainly there are three monastaries which are open to visitors and remaining two( not sure about the number) are not open to visitors as they are reserved for monks to meditate! No cameras, mobile phones, modern attires(minis and sleeveless), shoes, and sun glassess allowed inside! The first monastery has the main diety and if you are lucky enough, you get to play the dice which is believed to be to something to do with your future! The second monastery seemed to be quite interesting to me. There is a small well where people throw money to check their fortune. The other attraction is the wall which has a picture of second Budhdha! Yes, you read it right! Guru Padmasambhav is the second Budhdha who is believed to have eight incarnation and the founder of Taktsang! In Bhutanese language, takt=tigress and sang=lair!!
There are many legends about this place, popular among the localites! What convinced me is that,In 8th century, there was a tiggress which used to stay there and trouble the people. Guru Padmasambhav helped people when he fought against the tiggress and freed the people from its clutches! There after the monk sat for meditation and gained nirvana! Hence he is considered as second Budhdha in Bhutan. The third monastery has three big statues of their gods and it is believed that if you make a good wish there, that wish is gonna be fulfilled for sure. For me, coming here itself was one of the biggest wishes!
For many trekkers, down slopes feel like worst nightmare than climbing it up! But for me, returning from a trek feels little easier! But, this route is such a challenge that, the struggle for climbing is apparently equal to that of coming back! The steeper steps, inclined terrain, if it rains; the fear of slipping down will definitely test your patience,attention and conciousness to another level! I really enjoyed while coming back and didn't take any breaks! Reached the basement within one and half an hour! So I consider myself as one among the greatest people there after! Hip hip hurrayyy!
That was my last night in Paro so I went for a night walk in the streets of city market, ate yummy momos and lived it to the fullest!Bought few souvenirs for myself and my best friend.