Taktsang (tiger's nest) was one of Bhutan's most sacred and famous
monastaries. It burnt down in 1998, and is being reconstructed now.
Many monastaries in Bhutan have burnt down in the past due to the
combination of butter lamps and wooden materials for construction.
However the cause of the Taktsang fire is still a mystery.
The history of Taktsang
dates back to 747 AD when, as legend goes, Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava)
landed on a flying tiger (hence "tiger's nest") and subdued the
evil spirits in the region. The cave where he meditated is the site
of the Pelphug Lhakhang (temple/shrine). Many other fmanous buddhist
saints, including Milarepa, are said to have meditated here.
The actual construction
of the monastary was undertaken by Gyelse Tenzin Rabgye, the fourth
spiritual ruler of Bhutan and a famous buddhist lama and builder,
who completed the main lhakhang in 1694.
There are a complex of
monastaries and meditation retreats but taktsang is the main monastary
and most visited by pilgrims from all over Bhutan and the world.
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