Imagine This Monastery Perched Precariously on a Mountain

DSCF2199Isn’t it amazing how Taktsang Monastery was built on the cliffside of a mountain?  As one of the highlights of Bhutan,  “Tiger’s Nest” continues to attract visitors, including myself.  After hiking most of the morning to get to it, I glimpsed it for the first time from afar:  the monastery looked unbelievably tiny with the gray jagged mountainside as the backdrop.  It appeared as if at any minute, it could just topple over into the valley.  Built in 1692, and after a couple of fires and renovations, it still remains as a fully functioning place of worship.  When I got closer, I thought about how unbelievably dangerous it was back then to build it on the side of a cliff with no real foothold in the mountain to establish a firm foundation.  And yet it was done, miracles of miracles, in order for this resplendent Buddhist monastery to be as close to peace and the skies as possible.

Once inside, the old wood creaked underneath my shoes as I passed through the hallways.  I wondered what the walls told of stories of the past and present, and the excitement that pilgrims felt when they first arrived at such a special place after an arduous journey.