Arguably the most popular of Bhutan’s monasteries, the Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) is perched on the side of a 3000 feet cliff in Paro valley, above a forest of blue pine and rhododendrons. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) flew to the site on the back of a tigress (a manifestation of his consort Yeshe Tsogyal), subdued the local demon, Singye Samdrup, and meditated in a cave for 3 years. Guru Padmasambhava introduced Buddhism to Bhutan 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 meditated. A popular festival, known as the Tsechu, held in honor of Padmasambhava, is celebrated in the Paro valley sometime during March or April.
Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, Penlop (Governor) of Paro built the primary Lhakhang in 1692 around the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated.