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Tigers nest monastery in Bhutan
Written by Janani on May 26, 2020 Share on

Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan – The Ultimate Guide for Hiking

The vibrant colours, cultures and liveliness of Bhutan make anyone fall in love with this beautiful destination. Did you know that Bhutan is one among the top 10 global biodiversity hotspots? Be its picturesque landscapes, rich culture or divine monasteries,  Bhutan has everything in it.
If you are that person who seeks for thrill and adventure, a trek in Bhutan is a must-do activity. No trip to Bhutan will be complete without a hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. So if you are contemplating a trip to Bhutan, make sure to visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Keep reading for more information on Hiking to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

The Taksang monastery popularly known as the Tiger Nest monastery sits majestically 3000 m above the Paro Valley. This monastery is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. There are two ways you can reach the monastery. You can either rent a Horse/mule at the starting point or you can reach the monastery on foot. Walking through the mountains paths makes it a more interesting journey, worthy to remember for one’s lifetime. 

Tiger's Nest in Bhutan
Photo by Aaron Santelices on Unsplash


The history of this sacred place dates back to the 18th century when an extraordinary saint named Padmasambhava, the one who founded the Mahayana school of Buddhism, visited the site. It is believed that he changed himself into a terrifying form of Guru Dorje Drolo and cleansed the place of evil spirits in order to preserve the integrity of Buddhist teachings. 

As a result of this Yeshe Tsogyal transformed herself into a tigress and carried the Guru on her back from Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan to Taktshang. It is also believed that the Guru then performed meditation and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations) in a cave there. It is also believed that the Guru spent four months in that cave, taming and subjugating the malicious spirits, and concealed profound treasures for the benefit of sentient beings.

All about the Hike

The Hike usually takes about 6 – 8 hours and so, plan your day accordingly. You can get a clear view of the monastery even from the parking lot that is at the bottom of the mountain. Your hike starts from here. Half-way through the hike, you will arrive and some cafes. Take a short break here and gain some energy to climb further.

Washrooms are available in this place. Consume light food so that you are able to continue your Hike. You will be able to see a lot of people returning back because of getting tired. Make sure you take small breaks here and there so that you don’t get exhausted. 

The second half of the hike is pretty easy. The view from the mountain also gets better and better as you climb further. Stop for a while, enjoy the view and click pictures. After some time you will also see the monastery disappear from your sight. Do not worry, you have come nearer to it. 

Tiger's nest in the paro valley in Bhutan
Photo by Darshan Chudasama on Unsplash

One of the best views in the Hike is when you will overlook the Tiger Nest Monastery. This is when you feel complete and happy about your entire hike. Applaud yourself and take a short walk on the staircase to reach the monastery. 

You will be asked to leave all your backpacks, cameras and other belongings in a locker. They aren’t allowed inside the premises of the monastery. One of the monks will accompany you and will take you through the monastery.

Tips for travellers

  1. Start early. The average time taken for a hike is between 6-8 hours and so, make sure you start early in the morning. At least by 7 am. 
  2. Wear hiking shoes and comfortable pants. This place also gets heated up as day proceeds
  3. Carry hat, sunscreen and water bottle. Carry some chocolates and energy bars with you as well. Though there are cafes midway, you might nee water bottles in between.
  4. Monasteries are very particular about the dress code. Make sure you are wearing full pants and shirts with long sleeves. If you are hiking with a pair of shorts and a tee, make sure you carry some clothes to change.
  5. Go easy on your breakfast.
  6. Do not carry a heavy backpack. Also travelling as a group is high;y suggested if you are a first-time hiker. A group helps you keep yourself motivated and climb further.
  7. Do not rest for a longer time in the cafes. You might ten loose interest in climbing further. 

Be it your first or not, I’m sure that this hike to the Tiger’s Nest monastery will be one among the most memorable hike you’ve ever had. It is one of the best experience that you will get to cherish on your visit to Bhutan. Visit Pickyourtrail to plan and travel all around the world. Happy Travelling!!

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