Saturday, October 05, 2013

Bhutan trip day 4 - Paro Taktsang (Tiger Nest) and Kyichu Lhakhang

Me and Karma on our way from Thimphu to Paro

Despite not having enough sleep and arm being injured the night before (being knocked down by the reckless driver), Karma still kept his words and fetched me this morning from Thimphu all the way to Paro. Thank you Karma!!!

Beautiful Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong from afar

On our way, we passed by the beautiful Rinpung Dzong. Rinpung means 'heaps of jewels', was built with stone in 16th century. However, all its treasures were gone with the wind due to fire in 1907. Only one thangka, known as Thongdel, was saved. It was so sad that many Dzong and other historical places in Bhutan were burnt by fire or destroyed by earthquake and many of them had to be rebuilt and had lost its originality and preserved cultures. That was one of the main reasons on why people would love to visit Bhutan.

On the hill above, you could see Ta Dzong, a National Museum of Bhutan. Just realized that I'd been to these two places last year on my first visit there, but we went there from different road. Hahaha....

Even after a year, Paro valley was still looking beautiful as usual. We stopped by at one of the shops in Paro town. At there, I managed to buy a full plastic bag of snacks for altar offering, a strand of prayer flags, and a bottle of mineral water. I was fully prepared for this journey. Overcome, jia you!!!

Distance between me and Taktsang (on top of the hill far above us)
Both of us reached the Taktsang base at around 11.40am. We walked all the way up, slowly but steady. It was my second attempt to Taktsang. Last year I rode the horse until the entrance of Taktsang Cafetaria. This year, I was so determined to walk, on foot, all the way up to the Monastery. Since my parents were able to do so, I should have been able to do so too. That's also why I wanted to visit this place again, apart that I was so glad and grateful for the good karma given to go and pray in the sacred and holy place like this.

Reaching the meeting point at one hour time
We reached the meeting point in one hour time. Not bad ah?? Karma had gone to gym on regular basis to shape his body and also to extend a better stamina and good health, including to prepare himself for this journey hahahaha.... While me, I was still quite fresh, just reached Bhutan on 4th day, and used Sangaygang as a practice base hahaha.....

After that, we took our own sweet time as people mentioned that right now the Taktsang was closed for lunch until 2pm. So we walked, took a rest, and took lots of pictures. I reached that at 2pm and drank a holy water once I reached the base staircase to the Monastery.

Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest in Paro, Bhutan
I went in together with three chilips as I wasn't allowed to enter alone (with no one guided me), as Karma was waiting near the waterfalls - he didn't want to change his cloth into Gho. Once going in, first place to visit was the place where inside, there was a cave where Guru Padmasambhava was believe to meditate for 3  years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, and 3 hours in 8th century. I was so happy to be able to visit this place again only a year after the last visit. Thank you SB for the good karma!! I felt so blessed ya! :)

After that I went to the other room. There were few young Bhutanese who went at the same time. One of the girls, later on I found out that her name was Tshewang, was waiting for me outside one of the rooms I visited. She noticed that I was alone with no one guided me and didn't exactly know what to do or where to go. She then became my guide (even left her friends just to accompany me), brought me from one place to another, told me what to do, such as: to distribute snack first, to bow to this direction, then to that direction, donate some money, take the water from the monk, etc.

With her, I went to many more places than where I visited before. We went into the cave, few other prayers' room, got blessings from Head of the Monks who was there to start the afternoon prayers, and also to try to put our finger to the eye of the Buddha with our eyes closed hahaha.... There were many Indian armies who visited the place and they allowed both of us to cut the queue as we were women. They were laughing too when saw me point my finger to the wrong places for few times. I was given three chances anyway and managed to point my finger to the eye, of course, with my eyes slight opened... hahaha.... :P

I enjoyed my time there with Tshewang and once we went out, I asked her to give me her number as I didn't remember what my phone number was and my bag was with Karma. I didn't take photo with her too as my camera was also with Karma. However, after the visit, we still kept in touch, even after I returned back to Singapore. Thank you Tshewang for your kindness and help!! I appreciated it very much and let's keep in touch, ok?

Path taken to Tiger Nest
I met up with Karma and we went back to the base together. It was much faster to go down. We reached the base in one hour time. There, we met a Rinpoche and I was so lucky to get the blessing from him :) Just felt grateful and wonderful for all things that happened to me in my life. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, Bhutan

We continued our journey. I requested Karma to stop at Kyichu Lhakhang. This was another temple that I would love to visit and pray. It was one of the oldest temple in Bhutan. I was so happy knowing that it was still open and both rooms were widely opened when I reached there so that I was able to go in and pray inside. The orange trees, that were believed to bear the fruit throughout the year, were still there with many fruits on the tree. It felt just like yesterday. It was all the same :)

Well, two missions to Paro were done!! It was time for us to go back to Thimphu. But we felt hungry, so we stopped by at one of the bakery shops in Paro town to buy mushroom and apple pies :) It tastes good, especially for hungry people like us hehehe...

We reached Thimphu when the sky has turned dark. I was all satisfied and happy. Thank you Karma for your time and effort to bring me there!!! Hope it will bring happiness back to your life for all good deed you have done to me :)


Ticking the Bucketlist said...

Thats a great post! Loved the picture of the Tiger's Nest monastery!
A fellow blogger Girija has done a guest post for us on Bhutan:

Overcome Life said...

Thank you for visiting! Hope you enjoy my other posts in Bhutan and other countries I visited before :) Have a wonderful day!

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