Established in 1974, Olathang is one of the oldest hotels in Paro that was most popular with foreign delegates visiting Bhutan.Built on hill top, with 28 acres of lush greenery, dotted with pine trees, rose shrubs and jaw dropping views of Paro valley, this place is a heaven for art lovers. The ambiance gave us a feel of living in a past era and the food was lip smacking. The quality and variety of the food was amazing and so were the flavors. A good blend of Indian as well as local flavors, this is perhaps one of the best place to stay if you are a foodie.
This was the last day of our Bhutan tour and we have to climb the most difficult cliff of Tiger's Nest, also called as Taktsang. Tiger's Nest base is at about 20 minutes driving distance from Olathang. Overall we need to climb for about 900 meters. We started our Journey from hotel at 7:30 am morning & began our trek at around 8:05 am.
Tiger's Nest Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug Monastery is a Himalayan Buddhist sacred temple, located on the Cliffside of the upper Paro valley, in Bhutan. First built in 1692, by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, this temple is devoted to Guru Padmasambhava.
Your Bhutan tour is incomplete if you've not visited Tiger's Nest.
Tiger's Nest / Taktsang view from base
Horses are available for riding from base to Taktsang Café, located about 350 metres above the base. The ride will cost you Nu 600 / Rs.600 and though the horses tend to walk on the edges, it is safe and convenient to ascend on a horse till cafeteria. Beyond the café, you have to climb on foot. No horses are available for descent.
You can buy a walking stick as a support while climbing. These sticks are available at the base and cost Nu 50 / Rs 50 each.
The trail is breath taking but you need to be little cautious as you climb. Sometimes there is no railing or support as you walk on the edge of the mountain.
Prayer Wheels near the Taktsang Cafe. The Tiger's nest is visible from here (The white structure on the mountain at the back!)
Taktsang Cafeteria is midway to Tiger's Nest. We took a tea break of about half an hour here so that the entire group can re-assemble before we continue the trek.
After reaching the top of the mountain you need to go down and climb the adjacent mountain again. So the trail is in the shape of English letter 'N'
View of Tiger's Nest from opposite mountain
Almost after 3 hours of trekking we arrived at the gate of the Tiger's Nest or Taktsang Monastery.
You will have to deposit all your electronic devices and cameras before entering the Tiger's Nest. Your guide will help you to get the locker to deposit your belongings.
Luckily we reached on time & entered the Taktsang temple at 11:45am.
Temple entry is closed between 1pm to 2pm for lunch break.
Distant mountains covered in snow
We had booked our lunch at Taktsang Cafeteria which costs around Nu 500 / Rs. 500. We had this Buffet Lunch while returning. The cost of the meal was a bit high since transporting ingredients and other stuff from base to café is a daunting task.
The trek was tiring but we felt accomplished and thrilled beyond words. We were amazed to know that kids as small as 5 years old too, finished the trail.
While returning, we visited Kyichu Lhakhang which is the oldest temple in Bhutan, built in the 7th century.
With that our Bhutan tour came to an end and we returned back to Olathang to have our last dinner as a group, in Bhutan
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