Taksang- The Tigers Nest
Paro Taktsang, also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery and the Tiger’s Nest), is a sacred Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist site located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan. It is one of thirteen Tiger’s Nest caves in historical Tibet in which Padmasambhava practiced and taught Vajrayana.
A later monastery complex was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave, where Guru Padmasambhava meditated and practiced with students including Yeshe Tsogyal before departing the kingdom of Tibet in the early 9th century. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Vajrayana Buddhism to Bhutan, which was then part of Tibet, and is the tutelary deity of the country. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or “tiger lair” caves in which he and his students meditated.
The shrine dedicated to Padmasambhava, also known as Gu-ru mTshan-brgyad Lhakhang or “the Shrine of the Guru with Eight Names”, refers to Padmasambhava’s Eight Manifestations and is an elegant structure built around the cave in 1692 by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye. It has become the cultural icon of Bhutan. A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honor of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.
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