Taktsang Lhakhang is Bhutan's most iconic landmark and religious site. The name Taktsang translates to "The Tiger's Nest". This temple is one of the holiest sites in the kingdom and clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. The name Taktshang (Tag-Tigers, Tshang-Lair) got from the story that, in the 8th century Guru Padmasambhava came to Taktshang riding on the back of Tigress which is none other than one of his spiritual consort Khandro Yeshey Tshogyel from the eastern region of Khenpajong. After reaching there he had mediated for 3 months and subjugated the evil spirits there. And later in 853 his follower Pelkyi Singye came to the same place following his master mediated and given the name Pelphug, which means Pelkyi's Cave. And then he went to Nepal, and was died there. But the deity Dorji Legpa of Taktshang have miraculously brought his body from Nepal to Taktshang and it's sealed in chorten inside the monastery which can be seen today too.
Taktshang remained under Khathogpa Lamas until the 17th century, and in 1645 the site was offered to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and he wanted to immediately construct a temple there but he was busy with the construction of Paro Dzong. So before he could accomplish his vision of constructing a monastery he died. So his true follower 4th Desi of Bhutan Teszin Rabgay have constructed a monastery in 1692 fulfilling the Zhabdrung's wish which was seen until 1998.
Unfortunately in April 1998, Taktshang Monastery was completely burnt by fire and the government have rebuilt it and consecrated it in March 2005. Though most of the paintings and statues were lost to fire, the government had the photographs including the building, so it was restored in the original design.
Taktsang Lhakhang is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3,120 meters. In order to arrive at the temple, visitors have to Hike for around 2-3 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.
Open: Every day from 08:00 to 17:00 in summer and 08:00 to 16:00 in winter.
Lunch Break: No lunch break
Dress Code: Need formal dress
Entry Fee:Regional Tourists from India, Maldives, and Bangladesh have to buy entry tickets but other nationalities don't have to buy entry tickets but have to show visa clearance copies.
Photography:Photography is allowed till courtyard
Inside the Monastery there are 9 temples of which8 are allowed for the visitors. The most important temple is the Guru Dorji Drolo Lhakhang where Guru have meditated in the 8th century. Though the main cave is locked and it's open only once a year in the 5th month of the Bhutanese calendar. And next is right on top of Dorji Dorlo Lhakhang, Guru Sungjoen Lhakhang which houses the statue of Guru Rinpoche which is said to have spoken out. And it is also a statue that survived the 1998 fire. After that is the Kure Lhakhang followed the temple which houses the Chorten (Stupa) which contains the body of Pelkyi Singye. And as you walk up one floor you will reach the temple of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche. Next is the newly built Tshepame (Amityus) Lhakhang. On the extreme right is the temple that is dedicated to the god of wealth and the last one to god longevity (White Tara, Amitayus, and Unishavijaya). There is also a place where you can light the butter lamps.