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December 20, 2010
Bhutan’s Tigers Nest is a Buddhist monastery and renowned cultural symbol, also known as “Paro Takstang” or “Taktsang Palphug Monastery.” It perches high on a cliff-edge over 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above sea level, and 2,953 feet (900 m) above the Paro Valley. Built in 1692 and made up of four different temples, it still functions as a monastery today. Guru Padmasambhava, a Buddhist master thought to have brought Buddhism to Bhutan, founded it. According to legend, he meditated in a cave (known as Taktsang Senge Samdup Cave) on the site for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Tradition has it that he first reached the cave by flying up the cliffs on a tiger’s back, giving the monastery its modern name.