Perched atop a towering cliffside in the Paro Valley lies the iconic Paro Taktsang Monastery, known as the “Tiger’s Nest.” First built in 1692, this Buddhist temple clings to the granite rock face 900 meters above the valley floor. Taktsang earned its name from the legend of Padmasambhava, the father of Tibetan Buddhism. It’s said he flew to this precarious spot on the back of a tigress in the 8th century to meditate in a cave for three months, thus introducing Buddhism to Bhutan.

The original Tiger’s Nest complex and monastery were tragically damaged by fire in 1998 but have since been painstakingly restored over many years to their former glory. Today, making the five hour round trip journey on foot to view Taktsang is considered a sacred pilgrimage for Bhutanese people, with many making the trek at least once in their lives. The hike winds through peaceful pine forests before reaching a dramatic viewpoint at the Taktsang cafeteria outcrop. From here, visitors can gaze across the gorge to admire the monastery complex, a dazzling vision of carved wooden temples and shining gold rooftops seemingly fused to the sheer cliffside. Revered as one of Bhutan’s most sacred sites and a wonder of architecture in its own right, Taktsang continues to enchant all who make the spiritual trek to the legendary Tiger’s Nest.