Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan)

Tripoto
17th Aug 2018
Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

From that souvenir shop of Bhutan selling fridge magnets to that TV program showcasing the essence of Bhutan, everything has one thing in common: ‘Tigers Nest’. They all showed that same whimsical picture of a monastery perched on that cliff. Saw many stories, multiple videos and thousands of pictures online of this marvellous place but…….. Nothing can actually justifies the aura of this monastery as it’s beyond perfection. Why do they call it Tigers Nest? Coz Guru Rinpoche flew to this place on the back of a tigress in 8th century and meditated here for several years.

So we started at around 8:30 am in the morning to Taktsang monastery. We reached the base at around 9am to start our trek. There is a mandate ticket which you need to buy for NU 500 per person as an entry fees.

Photo of Tiger’s Nest/ Takstang Palphug Monastery, Taktsang Trail, Bhutan by Shruti Jain

At the starting point, you will find some shops selling souvenirs and traditional jewellery. You can also rent a walking stick for your trek at NU 50.

Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

Pathway to Cafeteria

Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

If you think you cannot walk or have some discomfort in walking, you can hire a pony from the base at around NU 300. The pony will drop you at the cafeteria (which is also the mid-point of your trek), from where you can see the glimpse of Tigers nest. A lot of people only go till Cafeteria and come back.

Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

When you’ll start, its an easy hike with some steep turns. The best part of this trek is, you will find a lot of trees covering the trail which makes it easier for you to take a break under the shade while trekking. I will not say its an easy trek, but physically possible if done with breaks. We started at 9am and took 3 hours to reach the top.

Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

The treacherous part is only followed till you reach cafeteria. Once you’ll cross cafeteria, there is an easy trail with flat surface and then follows the stairs. There are around 300 stairs which you need to climb before you reach a wonderful waterfall.

Once you’ll reach the top, there is an entrance where you need to show your ticket. Also you need to submit your entire luggage before you proceed for temple. There is a strict rule for clothing as well so you should be conservatively dressed (both arms and legs should be covered). Cameras are strictly restricted inside the temple, hence make sure you submit everything in the locker in order to avoid any problem.

Photo of Tigers Nest Trekking Experience (Bhutan) by Shruti Jain

The moment you enter the temple, you will find some interesting paintings on the walls, then there are multiple halls where you can go for worship. The first hall had a stupa where one lama explained that if you make a wish here, it will come true. Then there are other halls where Guru Rinpoche meditated for 3+ years and has its own significance. There was a different kind of positive vibrations which I could feel while being at the Tigers Nest. Everything was calm, composed and beautiful.

After spending some time inside the monastery, we started to trek back towards the base. The whole trekking can take upto 4-6 hours depending on your fitness level. We took around 6 hours from base to back, where we took multiple breaks to breathe and capture pictures.

Some important points

You can take a taxi from the Paro town to monastery for around 500 one side (drop only) but then if you want to book both ways, it may cost you around NU 1500 (driver will wait for you at the base). You will not find any taxi to hire from the base to town. Other fun alternative (which we did) is: hike for 2km more and you will find a shared cab at NU 50 per person for Paro town.

Also do carry some candies, chocolates and some snacks to go along. You will find limited options at the cafeteria; hence carrying your packed lunch is a wiser option. Plus the food at cafeteria is bit expensive.

There are many guides available online about the trek and how to complete this trek....but its all about the ground experience. The only thing which you need to keep in mind is, its not a competition to finish the trek so take your own time and go easy on yourself. I also read many articles but the only thing which is actually required here is Patience. Just be patient and keep going!!

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