My Roaming Spirit
It has been one of the most mesmerizing new year with the sighting of snowfall exactly on the eve of the new year. The plans were all set for the next stop to the mountains. One of the most holiest place for the Bhutanese, THE TIGER’s NEST!! also known as Paro Taktsang. The monastery is located 10 kilometers to the north of Paro and hangs on a cliff at 3,120 meters, about 900 meters above the Paro Valley.
We could feel the Dragon calling. It was about 5 hours of drive from Phobjikha Valley to Paro Taktsang. The drive came to an end just at the time of Lunch. And nothing works better than Aloo paratha for Indians to lift up their spirit.
We had an average of about 2.5 hours of climb ahead of us. It was already 2:45 and the gate to the monastery closes around 5 PM. We obviously had a time crunch but what could stop us. It contains steps as well as straight paths, so there is no correct numbers on how many stairs we climbed
I remember the days where we could play endlessly for the whole day and not get tired. Well that has surely changed in last couple of years. Its been nearly two third of a decade that any of us had the taste of it. So now you know what happens when you put a club boxer in the ring with a Pro. Our hearts were pounding and we could feel the blood flowing through our veins directly to our head. Each gust of winds felt like shrapnel piercing into our body. That said and done, half way through we fell on the ground catching our breath, but it was the race to reach the top that kept us going. That wasn’t the only thing but the scenic view of the mountain covered with the pine trees, the clouds, the waterfalls and the people all around us made the journey worthwhile.
We talk about discipline a lot in school but you can really experience it in Bhutan, there were no wrappers or garbage anywhere on the streets. People of Bhutan made sure
We talk about discipline a lot in school but you can really experience it in Bhutan, there were no wrappers or garbage anywhere on the streets. People of Bhutan made sure that they were properly disposed. Public parks and public free style gyms and children parks are created across the city.
All the tourist spots across the country are clean and this sends a strong message that everything can be achieved if you put you heart and will to do it. You don’t need high GDP for the countrymen to be happy. This country uniquely measures its growth in Gross National Happiness Index .
Ones you reach the highest point in the mountain, you can hear the sound of the wind passing the mountains as if it was the Roar of the Dragon. The sound of the wind gives you a soothing feeling. It was the feeling that you have achieved something and you could see the world beneath you. The green cover from the top takes your heart to a new level. You feel nature all around you as well as into you.
After the highest point you need to climb down 50 to 100 stairs to reach the monastery. It helps you catch your breath and rejuvenate you. The monastery buildings consist of four main temples and residential shelters ideally designed by adapting to the rock (granite) ledges, the caves and the rocky terrain. The main cave is entered through a narrow passage. The dark cave houses a dozen images of Bodhisattvas and butter lamps flicker in front of these idols. An elegant image of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara) is also here. In an adjoining small cell, the sacred scripture is placed; the importance of this scripture is that it has been scripted with gold dust and the crushed bone powder of a divine Lama. It is also said that the monks who practice Vajrayana Buddhism (the formal State Religion of Bhutan) at this cave monastery live here for three years and seldom go down to the Paro valley. The Present monastery was restored after a fire broke out in the year 1998 which destroyed the main building of the complex containing valuable paintings, artefacts and statues.
All the feeling cant be described but the pictures do capture some of it and say what cant be expressed in words.
The journey back was a easy feat. The most amazing effect was we didn’t even feel a thing once we were at our hotel “Hotel Olathang”- Established in 1974 for guests invited to the coronation of His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Hotel Olathang is Bhutan's largest hotel sprawling over 28 acres of wooded land situated atop a hill overlooking the visually stunning and historically fascinating Paro valley. The traditional Bhutanese architectural design and modern amenities were combined to provide the guests a comfortable stay and yet experience a Bhutanese lifestyle. They provide you cottages and you can book single room or double room cottage depending on your needs. The food was delicious. Everyone should definitely try Ema Datshi, a traditional dish which can give you a run for your money.
We ate, We sang, We danced and created memories for the lifetime. Thus the Four of us, Adarsh Jaiswal, Deepak Gupta , Mohit Daga and Kumar Chandak did enjoy and cherish the un-forgetful journey and Hospitality of Bhutan.
BHUTAN- That is the kind of effect a country can have on its people: one that makes you reflect and feel zen.