From a young age, I used to feel a strange pull towards Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet as well as these three areas. Mysterious caves, snow-capped Himalayas, Yeti, ancient lamas capable of flying by magic were the main reasons.
Then the pictures of the Tiger Nest Monastery seen in different places, the amazingly beautiful bridge over the river Kharsrota, everything pulls like a magnet. With that, Poonam’s vote, all in all, locked the Land of Thunder dragon.
Towards the end of last year I went to Bhutan, a beautiful country like a dream or even more.
Bhutan is the land of lightning dragons.
Before entering the main story, I would like to explain the reason for calling Bhutan by such a name. Bhutanese believe that the sound of lightning is actually the cry of a dragon.
Why is it called Tiger nest?
Tiger Nest is a sacred place for Buddhists. Tiger Nest was built in 1892 around the cave of Guru Rinpoche, where Guru Rinpoche first meditatedIt was here that Guru Rinpoche was carried on his back from Tibet by a tiger and that is why this place is called Tiger Nest.
Brief history of Taktsang
Tiger Nest is a Monastery. Tiger Nest’s real name is Taksang Gompa. Taktsang means tiger nestThe cave is associated with the memory of Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century.It is said that Guru Padmasambhava, whose name is Rinpoche in Tibetan, came to this cave from Tibet while flying on the back of that tigerHere, according to local folklore, he worshiped the Buddha for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours, and for the entire duration of the worship, the tigress stayed here. Henceforth, the cave is known as Taksang or Tiger Nest.
The cave was there, but many years after the monastery or gompa was built. In the early seventeenth century, Nagawanda Namgyal, who first attempted to turn Bhutan into a nation-state, was the first to consider setting up a monastery here. However, he did not see the monastery built during his lifetime. The first foundation stone for this monastery was laid at the very end of the seventeenth century. The first monastery was built in 1892 by the then leader of Bhutan, Tenzing Rabghe, in Giulse.
How high is Tiger’s Nest?
To reach the Tiger Nest at an altitude of about 10240 feet, you have to walk 3000 feet. Then you have to cross about 800 steps to reach the Tiger Nest
How to reach Paro Taktsang
Is Travelling to Bhutan expensive?
Why is Bhutan so expensive?
Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan Travel Story and Guides : How to reach Paro Taktsang
Once again, the desire to write a travel story about a foreign country came to the fore. Last time I wrote about Nepal, this time my mind is drawn towards their neighbors.
I remember visiting Dhaka and buying a couple of adventure novels about Bhutan from the book fair while I was in school. However, they failed miserably to highlight the beauty of the country. I heard the first story among the Bhutanese returnees from Arham Bhai. Also show many pictures taken there. That’s when I started dreaming of going there. So Bali, Thailand and even for the second time, the name of Bhutan came to the fore.
The date is the first of November. I boarded the Druk Air flight with my wife Poonam and daughter Wafika. How uncomfortable my flight has been since the USBangla plane crash in Nepal. It reached its peak on its way from Calcutta to Dehradun in India. But that story is another day. Apart from that, I have heard that Paroghera Paro is one of the most beautiful and dangerous airports in the world. But at the end of a quarter of an hour’s journey, when the plane began to land, I was so amused by the view of the surrounding high, amazing green hills that the tension subsided. There was a feeling of surprise after getting off the plane. Any airport can be so beautiful! In the green hills on the left side, when the mind is eating habudubu. Acquaintances were afraid that it would get very cold in Dhaka, I also could not find Kulkinara looking at the weather forecast, it is as difficult as Wafika! What is he doing in Darjeeling! But the winter did not last long. The air was comfortable, and the light sunshine brought with it an aura, like a green carpet at the airport, leaning against the mountain on the runway.
As soon as we got out of Paro airport, we discovered our travel agent here, my name on the hand placard. I have unknowingly swallowed the name of the poor man! Before getting in the car, he introduced a smiling, beautiful Bhutanese girl. Nima, our driver cum guide. Wafika was surprised to see him sitting in the driver’s seat. Asked, I do not see aunts driving in the country? I replied that aunts are the drivers of many vehicles in Bhutan. Later, of course, he told me quietly, his idea is that aunts drive more here than uncles.
Nima drove to our first destination, the capital city of Thimphu. However, the car stopped almost immediately. Said to go down here and see the runway from above. Many tourists are standing and watching the runway below. The runway, which is spread out in the valley of the hill from the top, the airport is more beautiful. We also looked at Ha for a few moments. Unfortunately, no aircraft took off and landed in this short time.
As soon as we left the car, we could walk with clear water, innumerable pebbles and the river became our companion, on the left side of the road. I was fascinated by the rivers, green hills, and strangely beautiful Bhutanese architecture. Colorful especially red-white colored wooden facade, small windows, sloping roof of every house. Later I came to know that in 1997, a rule was laid down in the royal law to preserve the old tradition in the case of new houses as well. Surprisingly, the interest was cut off as soon as the car stopped. At the invitation of the travel agent and Nimar, the eyes went to a bridge over the river. Going a little closer, I realized that the whole structure is made of iron, it is clear that he has a lot of old memories in his chest. There is a small Buddhist temple and fort on that side of the bridge. Nima confirmed that my guess is correct, this iron bridge of 600 year old Techog Lakhang Jung. Later, after searching the net, I came to know that in a flood of 1969, a large part of the bridge was washed away, but it was rescued and rebuilt. The bridge was designed by a talented architect named Thanktak Gialpo. It was built in the early fifteenth century. He designed more than half a hundred such iron bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, for Buddhist pilgrims to visit various caves. The funny thing is there is a story about building this bridge. Gialpo was meditating on a rock by the river, when he dreamed that a horse was going over the river, which made him excited. Even though I feel a little uncomfortable looking at its iron chains, these are proof that many of them are mature, many such bridges are still being used by people. I wanted to get up, but I slipped into Nima’s next words like a cracked balloon, in need of reform, for the time being. Someone said later that while walking along this bridge, looking at the river below, it may seem that I am going to float. As soon as the journey started again, I had fun showing the hills, rivers and houses along the way. They dropped us off at a nice, neat hotel in the heart of Thimphu.
The next morning Nima drove us to Buddha Point first. A huge golden statue of Gautam Buddha is the main attraction there. Wafika has become very close to Nima by then. Nima doesn’t understand Bengali, Wafika doesn’t understand Bhutanese language, she is not even five years old, so English is not the same. But it stuck with Aunty’s body. I knew beforehand that the whole complex, including the 189-foot-tall Buddha sculpture and other statues, was inaugurated in 2015 after working on the net. I was surprised to go inside after crossing a few stairs. Small Buddha statues. Keep him huddled. According to the information given by Nimar, the book is not a lotus, there are one lakh eight-inch long and 25,000 12-inch long bronze Buddha statues here. When we came out, we looked around the huge square around the Buddha statue. It was great to spend time in the yard. Walking in the hot sun in winter, watching foreign tourists, more European-American and Indian, enjoying the view of the high mountains with snow caps all around. There are several medium-sized statues in the courtyard. Buddha Point has now become the undeclared symbol of Thimphu. On the way to Punakha, I was looking at the Buddha statue for a long time. Similarly, wherever I went around Thimphu, the Buddha of Buddha Point caught my eye.
Then I spent time on a beautiful wooden bridge over a rocky river. I found an old man at the entrance. Traditional dhola red cloak on the body, triangular hat on the head. For hours, Japmala sang a song in Bhutanese language with some colorful objects. Even though I didn’t understand the meaning, the melody was loud. Probably religious music. From the moment I planned to go to Bhutan, I wanted to go to one of the jungles there. Honestly, wherever I go, I get the urge to dive into the jungle. I was also doing research. However, the plan given by the tour operators did not name any jungle separately. Of course, 80 percent of Bhutan is forested. So no matter where you go, you will meet the forest. But I wanted to enter a forest where animals could meet. Discovering a little, it is easy to find wildlife in Manas National Park. Because there are jeep or elephant rides in the forest like the various jungles of India and Nepal. But it fell south of Bhutan, on the border with India. Far from our travel area this time.
I searched the internet and found Jigme Darji National Park. Learned our travel area is Thimphu; Some parts of this huge forest have also fallen between Paro and Punakha districts. In Dhaka, we asked Fayaz Bhai of our tour operator company to inform us about the matter. If we inform the tour operator or guide of Bhutan, there may be an arrangement.
After seeing Buddha Point, Nima said we will go to a park, there is a beautiful river there. I wanted to know if it is possible to go to Jigme Darji National Park. He laughed in reply and said that he was looking for the forest. Feeling a little frustrated. I thought, maybe we won’t see. Anyway our car started moving. Fifteen minutes later, I saw a beautiful mountain river. The water of the river flowing on the left side is milky white. The water seems to be boiling as it flows through the rocky areas. On the way from Thanchi to Modak, I suddenly remembered Sangur going up and down the road. But here the sound of water is loud, the river is flowing with the sound of show, the speed is more. After leaving him for a while, he suddenly caught sight of a board on the side of the road. It reads ‘Jigme Darji National Park’. What else is the fortune? I entered the boundary of the forest I wanted to go to, unknowingly. Nima is also shocked. He said he didn’t even know its name was Jigme Darji National Park. After a while we got out of the car. The river is a little farther now. A few people are cooking in a little open space surrounded by trees. He said to talk and sometimes he comes here when he has time. I saw a big drum collecting all the dirt.
I decided to go to the river by pushing the jungle a little detour. My daughter is attached to her aunt Nima. They are in front, I and Poonam are behind. Walking along the hilly path. I am taking this opportunity to give some more information about this forest known by searching the internet. It started its journey as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. It is named after the third king of Bhutan, Jigme tailor Wanchuk. It was declared a national park in 1993. The area is not less, four thousand 318 square kilometers. About one-ninth of the whole of Bhutan. It has an area of about 1,600 to 7,100 meters. Four types of ecosystems can be seen in this forest.
This time I will take a path down from the hill. Nama-i dropped Wafika. We started walking towards the river. Quite wide here, somewhat quiet. I froze with my hands in the water, cold as ice. The creation of this river from the icy water of the Himalayas, the water must be cold! Four major rivers of Bhutan flow through this forest. Wafika wanted to get into the water. Therefore, once I lightly touched his feet in the water, I explained how cold it is. However, the problem increased. I had to walk in the river with him in cold water. I saw a young Bhutanese Divya taking a bath in this water. Once he got up in a wet body, he stood in the pebble kingdom and requested one or two companions to join him. But no one else was so mad. Therefore, he went down into the water alone and began to swim. Wafikar is happy to see that! It seems to be enjoying the bath! High hills on the other side of the river. Deep jungle there. There must be other wild animals, including tigers, happily on the hill. Maybe our movements are also noticeable. But the look is not showing.
I chatted with several Bhutanese youths who came for the picnic. A dog with a strong look again with one. Frightened, Wafika joined hands with the dog. One of them said that a tiger had come down last month. On this occasion, it is the only forest in the world where tigers and snow leopards roam at the same time. Tigers have also been spotted at an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level. Considering the whole world, it is rare for a tiger to roam so high. Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, is also found in this forest. You can call this animal half cow-half goat. However, if you want to see this animal easily, you can go to Thimphu Takin Reserve. There are also some houses in this huge forest. A small number of people live there. For example, a semi-nomadic group called Layap survives in this forest with all their originality. It is the only forest where the four national symbols of Bhutan meet. Cypress trees, blue poppy flowers, ravens and takins.
Jigme Darjeeling National Park, a paradise for trekkers, especially the many trekkers from Europe and America. Rare animals like cloud leopard, mask deer, wild dog, Himalayan black bear, red panda will also be found in the forest. All the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas have fallen on its borders. However, our misfortune is short, and it is difficult to wander in the forest with such a small child. So I wandered around the mountain river and the trees for some more time and took the way back.
I spent a lot of time, so it was not possible to enter the Takin Reserve. Other than that, Takin Reserve is like a zoo, and the cost of tickets is also high, making it easy to decide everything together. But peeking from a distance, I saw several takin fao. Then Nima took us to a high hill. Said the whole of Thimphu can be seen from here.