This Valentine’s Day I dedicate #WanderfulWednesday post to my son, who is my true love of life (goes without saying) and who made me proud by trekking to the Taktsang Monastery. It is one of the difficult and challenging treks and you gain merit with every step. Like a typical mother, I was worried to no end when he stubbornly wanted to trek. He was the youngest in the group. In fact, the tour guide was initially not even willing to take him along as he is below the permitted age. It took him 5 hours to complete the trek and the entire time, my heart was beating out of my body. Had it been inside my body I would have choked myself with anxiety. I couldn’t climb more than 100 metres while my little baby trekked 4.5km (one way).
Taktsang Monastery or The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a small collection of buildings precariously perched on a cliff. It is stunning in its beauty and location. This was the place where Guru Padmasambhava meditated for 3 years. The place is also known as Tiger’s Nest as the place resembles a tiger from a distance.
The only way to reach Taktsang is by foot. There are mules available from the base but mules take you only halfway to the monastery. I had taken a mule but regretted every single second of the ride. Fellow bongs if you remember Lalmohan Ganguly’s camel ride in Sonar Kella, then let me assure you he had a cake walk compared to mine. (The YouTube link for the reference of Non-Bengali readers.) Mules can be hired from the base but please remember to bargain. The mule track passes through pine forest that is colourfully festooned with moss and prayer flags
There is a nice cafeteria midway. The mules leave from there. Most trekkers relax for some time at the cafe and then start the difficult trek by foot. Going ahead there is no place to eat or drink therefore it is advisable to buy your food and drink from here. The cafe serves only tea and cracker for breakfast and a continental lunch spread. I sat waiting for the trekkers at the cafe enjoying the view.
While the son and his father were away trekking, I busied myself exploring the surroundings of the cafe and came across some amazing chanting wheels. Bhutan is a carbon negative country and everything is recycled. The prayer wheels were made of plastic bottles and honestly, I found them amazing.
I was enjoying myself thoroughly at the cafe observing the trekkers who were coming and going from there while the duo was busy climbing up.
The trekkers have to reach this highest point and then ascend to reach the Tiger’s Nest