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虎穴寺

虎穴寺 Taktshang Goemba,意为“虎穴”,她位于悬崖峭壁上,高出帕罗峡谷地面900米,极为壮观

据说,莲花生大师乘雌虎坐骑来此修行,这里也因此被奉为圣地,全不丹的信徒均来此顶礼膜拜。从山脚,您需要爬山2小时来到建于悬崖边的虎穴寺,当然您也可以骑马上去。

虎穴寺扶摇凌驾于高出帕罗峡谷900多米的悬崖峭壁上,是不丹王国最著名的佛教圣寺。这里是传说中8世纪时,印度高僧莲花生大师Guru Rinpoch 在不丹冥想的地方。虎穴寺也因此成为了受到全不丹人顶礼膜拜的圣地,并被誉为世界十大寺庙之一

虎穴寺是一个集风光与艺术于一体的寺庙。寺内每个建筑都有一个阳台,可欣赏优美的帕罗河谷风景。整个院落建筑群由四个主殿堂和居住区域组成,它们大多依山据地而不规则地修建。远望去,虎穴寺如同攀附在峭崖上的一只壁虎。要进入供奉莲花生大师和千手观音佛像的主洞穴,需要通过一个狭窄的通道。在黑暗的洞穴中,闪烁着酥油灯,你可以看到踏在雌虎之上的莲花生大师的怒形化身多吉卓洛,这便是当年莲花生大师来此修行的描述。此外,这间佛堂中还藏有一幅优雅的千手观音图像以及数十个菩萨像。


Taktsang Monastery:
Often called the Tiger’s Nest, perched on the cliffs, has awestruck many a visitor. “Trip to Bhutan is never complete without climbing to Taktsang”, says one tourist. Indeed it’s true as the journey there fills you with spiritual bliss. For those not choosing the spiritual side it is the dramatic, artistically built monument that becomes a hiker’s delight. Take a trip to this dramatically set Buddhist relic hanging from a cliff. Experience the uphill climb as you ascend more than two thousand feet from the valley floor.
TAKTSHANG GOEMBA
Taktshang is the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley, where the only sounds are the murmurs of wind and water and the chanting of monks. The name means ‘tiger’s nest’; it is said that Guru Rinpoche flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress, a manifestation of his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, to subdue the local demon, Singey Samdrup. He then meditated in a cave here for three months.
The site has long been recognised as a ney, or holy place. It was visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and pilgrims from all over Bhutan come here. Milarepa is also said to have meditated here, while Thangtong Gyalpo revealed a terma (treasure text) at Taktshang. The primary lhakhang was built in 1692 around the Dubkhang (also called the Pelphu), the holy cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated, by the penlop of Paro, Gylse Tenzin Rabgye.
On 19 April 1998 a fire (which some say was arson) destroyed the main structure of Taktshang and all its contents. It had suffered a previous fire and was repaired in 1951. Reconstruction started on an auspicious day in April 2000 at a cost of 130 million ngultrum and the rebuilt site was reconsecrated in the presence of the king in 2005. Tradition says that the original building was anchored to the cliff-face by the hairs of khandroma (dakinis, or female celestial beings), who transported the building materials up onto the cliff on their backs. The renovation team had only a cable lift for assistance.
The Hike
The only way up to the Tiger’s Nest is to walk, ride a horse or fly on the back of a magic tiger (the latter generally reserved for Tantric magicians). The 1¾ hour hike is a major part of any tourist itinerary and is unmissable for the spectacular views. It’s also a good warm-up hike if you are going trekking. If the full hike sounds a bit tough you can walk (or ride horses) to the‘caféteria’,a wooden teahouse-restaurant, which offers a good view of the monastery. If you require horses, be sure to mention this to your guide a day or two in advance. Wear a hat and bring water.
A new road, built to facilitate the reconstruction of the monastery, branches off 8km north of Paro and climbs 3km to the trailhead at 2600m.
The trail climbs through blue pines, then switchbacks steeply up the ridge, where a sign exhorts you to ‘Walk to Guru’s glory! For here in this kingdom rules an unparalled benevolent king’! If you have just flown into Paro, walk slowly because you are likely to be affected by the altitude.
Once you reach the ridge there are excellent views across the valley. To the southwest is the area around Drukgyel; you can see the large school below the village and the army camp above it. After a climb of about one hour and a gain of 300m from the parking lot you will reach a small chorten and some prayer flags on the ridge. Be watchful here as the trail crosses an archery ground. It’s then a short walk to the caféteria (2940m), where you can savour the impressive view of the monastery over a well-deserved cup of tea. The caféteria also serves full meals; if you arrange your schedule accordingly, you can have breakfast or lunch here.
The trail continues up for another 30 minutes to a spring and basic monastery guesthouse, used by some Buddhist groups. A cave and plaque marks the birthplace of the previous Je Khenpo; his former residence is just up the hill. A short walk further along the main trail brings you to a spectacular lookout at 3140m that puts you eyeball to eyeball with the monastery, which looks like it is growing out of the rocks.
From this vantage point Taktshang seems almost close enough to touch, but it’s on the far side of a deep chasm, about 150m away. The trail descends to a waterfall and the Singye Phu Lhakhang (Snow Lion Cave), a meditation retreat jammed dramatically into a rock crevice, before climbing back up to the monastery entrance.

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