Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 15: Breathtaking Tiger's Nest!

Route: Thimpu-Paro-Chuzom-Paro-Drugyel Dzong-Tiger's Nest Trek-Paro (30 KM)
Road Condition: Excellent
Trek: 2 Hour trek to the Taktsang Monastery(Tiger's Nest)

Got up early at 6 and packed our bags and then headed for Paro. Today we wanted to go to Tiger's Nest which is Bhutan's most revered place. You go anywhere in Bhutan and you will find a picture of this stunning monastery. The roads till Paro were butter smooth and we reached Paro via Chuzom within no time. At Paro, we saw the only airport in Bhutan . Its supposed to be one of the most dangerous runways in the world!
Nice menu to have in Bhutan!

We got a descent hotel in Paro, had breakfast there and left for our Trek to the Tiger's Nest. Some 14 km odd road takes you to a place called Drugyel Dzong which is more like a fort. On the way we had a chance to see an Archery Contest going on. People of Bhutan are so much obsessed with it that they play all day long on weekends and as we found out, it was quite a skillful game. You need special Bhutanese beer to keep you cool under pressure.
Archery is Bhutan's National obessesion!

They play it the whole day on weekends!

Serious aiming!

We then rode till the Drugyel dzong from where one can see Zholmori(not sure about the name) peak which is the highest peak in Bhutan.
We reached the base of Tiger's Nest, parked our vehicles and started the trek to Tiger's nest which we could see from below. It was some sight I tell you.
Tiger's Nest Monastery Trek: First View

As we started climbing it, we became quite exhausted as the climb was not a piece of cake which we thought it would be. On the way we visited the cafeteria where one can have canned juice worth 20 in 70 bucks.
Tiger's Nest Monastery Trek: Cafe

After a 2 hours of trekking we finally reached the stunning Tiger's Nest!
This was certainly the high point of Bhutan trip. We visited the monastery as we had permits. The guard there told us that there were 5-6 more such monasteries around. We tried our luck at a rock where if you put your finger into a small area with your eyes closed in three chances, you get what you want in life. After two tries I got the last one bang on! So lucky! Parag and Manas tried their luck but in vain. But then they were lucky enough to join me on this trip :) On our way back we met an Architect from Pune who was working in Thimpu! After some conversations in Marathi, we then climbed down in a hours time.
Tiger's Nest Monastery Trek!

Looks stunning

way to Tiger's Nest Monastery


Stunning place!

The mantra

Paro valley

See you again!

We then came to our room, had round of local gin and then took much needed rest and got up only next Morning!

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