A Holy Hike to Taktsang


“You can’t come to Bhutan and not visit the Tiger’s Nest!” beamed the elderly European tourist as he happily trekked down the trail that led to the Taktsang Monastery, perched higher up on a sheer cliff on a mountainside in Paro Valley in Bhutan. I was resting on a rock, fanning myself in the hot sun and looking down at the valley below. I was contemplating whether I would in fact be able to make it to the top of the cliff (located 1,500 feet above the valley) where I could just about glimpse the white walls of the monastery. Paro is situated at about 7,000 feet above sea level, and every step up was getting more and more difficult.

Lingzhi Dzong in Bad State

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Lingzhi Yugyal Dzong, once majestic, lies in a state of ruins today. Its roofs have been blown away and the walls crumbled to the ground. It was damaged by the earthquake in September last year leaving it uninhabitable. The monk body and the Dungkhag office had to be shifted.

Our reporter, Eshori Gurung, who recently visited the place, says that about 35 monks and the Lam Neten (head Abbot) are currently living in the traditional medicinal centre located in Misoey. Meanwhile, the Nangtens or the sacred relics of the Dzong have been shifted to a ward in the Basic Health Unit (BHU). The Lam Neten, Chencho, said since the Nangtens and their temporary residence is located in different places, it is difficult for them.

β€œIt was said that last year, the renovation would start this year but, now we were told that there is no budget, no contractors and even the people are not willing to take initiative,” said the Lam Neten.

Currently the Nangtens are being taken care of by two monks, who come to the BHU every morning and evening to light butter lamps and offer prayers. Another worry that they have is that they might have to shift very soon. This, according to them, is that more than 30 people will be arriving from Thimphu to collect medicinal herbs in Lingzhi.

Meanwhile a team of Japanese engineers led by a Bhutanese engineer have been sent to Lingzhi to assess the extent of damage

Once, a magnificent Dzong, the Lingzhi Dzong was built by the Third Desi Chogyal Minjur Tempa in 1668. The Dzong built to commemorate victory over Tibetan invasion stood majestically until the earthquake in September last year.

Original story by BBS

Attractions in Bumthang

Attractions, Destinations

Bumthang, considered by the Bhutanese as the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, has some of the most ancient and precious Buddhist sites. The age-old indegenious traditions are very much alive, and it is a unique example of original Himalayan culture which adds to the number of distinctive priceless assets of Bhutan. Bumthang is a must-vist destination if you have a week in Bhutan.