Best time to visit Bhutan

Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang) in Bhutan

A small monastery on a cliff overlooks a picturesque valley

Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)
Tiger's Nest (Paro Taktsang)

Built in 1692, the spectacular Paro Taktsang Monastery is one of the most prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred sites of Bhutan. Placed in the cliffside of the upper Paro and skillfully built around the cave by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, the monastery has become the cultural icon of Bhutan. Every spring in March or April it hosts a popular festival of Tsechu (Tshechu) honouring Guru Padmasambhava.

According to the legend, Padmasambhava arrived at Paro Taktsang on a flying tiger to meditate. The temple complex was set up near Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours in the 700s. Padmasambhava is credited for introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of the country.

Getting to the monastery is not an easy task. There is a 1 km (3000 ft) climb from the valley floor and takes about two hours. The trail heading up is rather steep, it seems to disappear at certain parts.

Upon reaching the entrance to the Tiger’s Nest, you'll be about 3 km (10,000 ft) above the sea level. You'll be rewarded with a fantastic view of the valley and a secluded atmosphere of a Buddhist shrine. Keep in mind that you cannot bring photography equipment and shoes inside the monastery.

We recommended avoiding the site during the cold winter months of January and February as well as during the rainy and hot monsoon season from June to September.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to visit Tiger's Nest?

The recommended time to visit Tiger's Nest is March to April and October to December, known for great weather and stunning views. It's not recommended to visit in the winter or rainy season, which is June to September as the trails leading to the Monastery are challenging to traverse due to inclement weather. The best time to go is during the offseason as foot traffic is reduced, and tourists can comfortably enjoy the scenery and the spirituality of the area. Show more

How long does it take to climb up to Tiger's Nest Monastery?

From the valley floor, the climb to Tiger's Nest Monastery on the mountain takes roughly two hours, a steep and challenging hike that can be demanding for certain visitors. However, the effort is worth it, as the Monastery is a world-renowned sacred site, offering peaceful and awe-inspiring views of the surroundings. It's suggested that visitors carry water and take breaks along the way to ensure their well-being and enjoyment of the journey. Show more

Why is Paro Taktsang significant in Bhutanese culture?

Paro Taktsang, popularly known as Tiger's Nest, is a sacred Buddhist temple located in Bhutan and is an emblematic center of Bhutanese culture. It's said Guru Rinpoche, an important Buddhist sage, spent three years meditating at the site. It's considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan, making it an essential spiritual and holy venue for locals and tourists alike. The temple's location on the cliff's edge surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain ranges creates an otherworldly energy hard to forget. Show more

Is photography equipment allowed inside the monastery?

No, visitors are not allowed to bring photography equipment, phones, or cameras inside the Monastery, and are required to leave these items in a locker provided at the entrance. This is to preserve the ancient site's holy and tranquil atmosphere, which is fundamental to Bhutanese culture. However, tourists can take photos outside of the temple, where they can capture some fantastic scenic views and take memories of their visit home with them. Show more

What is the height of the monastery at Tiger's Nest?

Tiger's Nest Monastery is located 3 km above sea level, offering epic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The hike to the temple is a steep and challenging two-hour journey up the side of a mountain, but the last part of the journey involves ascending a flight of steps that open up into a breathtaking sight. The isolation of the temple and its location on a cliff make for a truly unforgettable experience, and visitors are encouraged to take their time to revel in the moment. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin