This is a beautiful to look at Temple in Paro, Bhutan on a cliff which is at a High Altitude, Steep Incline and Rough Terrain. It is perched on the side of a Himalayan mountain at 3,120 metres (10,240 ft), about 900 metres (3,000 ft) almost straight up.
The moment I read it in our iternary, the word ‘hiking’ started harrowing me as I’m not at all a person who would opt for hiking willingly, And I kept reading and digging information about it on internet ,but, beleive you me, I’ve come to realise that no amount of reading can match up your own experience, good or bad.
Usually Tiger’s Nest Temple is kept on the last day of the trip because one, to keep the interest and charm of it going throughout the trip, two , we get acclimatise with the thin air and high altitude and three, you are left with no strength in your knees and back for atleast 2 days once you are done with this trek.
For a regular hiker, this trek is a piece of cake but if you eat a lot of cake then you feel every ounce of your body cursing that cake when you are on this trek which yours truly experienced along with damaged knees.
A good 98% of the trek is the rough terrain and I somehow managed it huffing , puffing and cribbing but then comes the view point, and I could see the temple RIGHT THERE on the other cliff. Happiness galore, pictures clicked and shred and a feeling of achievement had just started to come and then I saw steep steps! Some 700 steps going down and 250 steps going up. Those were a very small part but a killer part nevertheless. But I did it! with my heart panting in my mouth,my legs shivering and my back broken I reached the temple. The temple is nothing extraordinary that you haven’t seen in the other monasteries. It’s simple with lots of stories,myths and legends. Infact I felt a little air of disappointment, for where I reached after such a difficult trek, there was no wow factor for myself.I kept thinking, why can’t they make a ropeway,why not a suspension bridge and so on but looks like hiking is the charm for people to come to this place. I witnessed many old couples in there 70s and 80s trekking ( oh! How I was admiring them) and visiting this temple and Bhutanese are regular visiters here.
Legend has it, that the first guru in Bhutan flew on a tigress’ back and reached up on the cliff and that’s where the temple was made. When we were heading back I was desperately and frantically hoping and looking for that tigress to appear for me, hell even a walking horse will do (horses were available but looking at their path where they walk on edge I trusted my jelly-turned-legs) but none of that happened and somehow with a crackling leg and an aching back I reached back down and completed this difficult trek swearing never to to go back on a rough terrain trek again and yet I’m so glad I could do it and the bad, good and happy memories of this day will stay with me in my mind and in my camera forever. They are also etched on my face and hands as severe tanning but that shall be gotten rid off!! ~ Juhi