The Taktshang Goemba (Tiger's Nest Monastery)
Travel guidebooks have made this image the symbol
One of the most holy sites in Bhutan, the Guru Rinpoche (see the
photo of the thondrol in
the Paro Festival series) is said to have flown here on the back of a
tigeress and then meditated in a cave, contained within the present
structure, for three months.
The monastery (goemba in Bhutanese) was built in its present form
in 1692. It suffered a devastating fire of unknown origin during the
night of April 19, 1998. Speculation is that the fire was caused either
by lightening or an overturned butter lamp. Old photographs and diaries
were used to make the reconstruction as close to the original as possible,
though there was little documentation of the wall paintings and other
artwork housed inside.
Special permission is required for non-Bhutanese to visit the monastery,
usually granted only to practicing Buddhists on a religous retreat.
This photograph was taken from the viewpoint across the valley, the
furthest point ordinary tourists can reach before being stopped by
Photo taken: April 17, 2003
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