Taktsang Monastery, famously known as Tiger Nest Monastery, is located in Paro. The monastery is one of the most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan.
The climb to the monastery takes about 3 hours on a comfortable pace. The total distance walked is about 4 km one way with 700m in elevation gained.
Taktsang Monastery was built in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye is believed to be the reincarnation of Padmasambhava. Legend believes that Padmasambhava(Guru Rinpoche) flew to this location from khenpajong, Tibet, on the back of a tigress. Guru Rinpoche mediated for three months in the cave at Taktsang. He also subjugated the Eight Categories of Evil Spirits and converted the valley to Buddhism.
Guru Rinpoche the returned to Tibet and transmitted his teaching to his disciple. One of his disciple, Langchen Pelkyi Singye, returned to Taktsang to mediated in the year 853. He name the cave where he mediated as Pelkyi’s Cave. Pelkyi is believed to have gone to Nepal where he later died. His body miraculously return to Taktsang Monastery under the grace of deity Dorje Legpa and is now sealed inside the chorten standing in the room on the left at the top of the entrance way.
Dochula pass is located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Known as the Druk Wangyal Chortens- the construction of these108 chortens was commissioned by the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The pass is also popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located on the crest of Dochula pass.The Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) was built in honor of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The past and future appears to merge in the details of the lhakhang (temple) and its structure tells the story of a supreme warrior figure, whose vision pierces the distant future in a fine blend of history and mythology.Bhutanese families enjoy visiting the pass during holidays and weekends to picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists this is ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days.