Taktsang Palphug Monastery, generally known as Tiger's Nest, is one of the most famous touristic destinations and the cultural icon of Bhutan. It clings to a cliff, 3120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley.
There are three paths leading to the Tiger's Nest.
The first trail passes through the pine forest, decorated with bright prayer flags. The rest of the two paths pass through the plateau, called "a hundred thousand fairies’ plateau."
Tiger's Nest consists of four main temples; all temples are interconnected by staircases with steps carved into the rock.
The main shrine of the monastery is where the prayer wheel is located. Almost all buildings of the monastery has a balcony with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
Interior of the temple is a gold-plated dome with flickering candle flames that are illuminating golden idols. The hall of Thousand Buddhas is carved into the rock, where the large statue of a tiger is located.
The symbol of Paro Taktsang is a tiger and according to legend, it was the tigress whom brought Padmasmabhava to the Monastery location on her back.
The Nine Tigers represents the Nine sacred caves found inside Taktsang
- Machig Phug is above the ravine where the waterfall is; it is where the incarnation of Khandro Yesho Tsogyal mediated.
- Sengye Phug is near the stream that flows through the ravine; Guru Rinpoche mediated on Vajrakeli, the deity of the magic dagger.
- Pel Phug is whereGuru Rinpoche meditated over the deities of the magic dagger. The set of magic daggers (Phurpai Ethram) is preserved still today.
- Droloe Phug is shaped like Dorje Droloe and stands a little further away from the Senge Samgrup Lhakhang.
- Odsel Phug is to the left of the central monastic complex where the self-created Buddha Amitayus and pagsam-shing (wish-fulfilling tree) can be seen.
- Gedig Phug is the cave where virtuous and non-virtuous actions are separated.
- Chogyal Phug is where Chenrizig, or the Lord of Compassion, resides in this cave, assuming the Lord of Death.
- Kapali Phug is near the Shama Lhakhang; this cave holds profound oral traditions that can subjugate demons and spirits.
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