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Tango Monastery: A Day hike from Thimphu

We were in Thimphu on weekend i.e. Sunday, almost all the sightseeing places were closed on that day and we decided to visit Tango and Cherry Monasteries.

Bhutan is famous for its spectacular monasteries. Some of it are located on hill tops with spectacular landscapes around; few require mild hikes, few can be reached with good 3-4 hours hike. They can be as old as 12th century.We decided to visit Tango & Cherry monasteries for offbeat hike experience.

Tango and Cherry monasteries are located about 14 kms from Thimphu, perched high up on the mountain.We started moving towards Cherry and Tango monasteries along the river. When I saw the gushing river around us, I was unable to stop myself and rushed to the banks, soaked my feet in the water and spend 15-20 minutes before heading ahead.

Further ahead one can view huge prayer wheels powered by water running down the mountainside and an amazing rock art image of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.

The route towards monastery was mesmerizing with lush green escapes both the sides.

When we reached near base camp of Cherry monastery, locals said it is closed and you are not allowed to go. We were disappointed by hearing that and headed towards Tango monastery.

Cherry Monastery atop the mountain

Very few travelers visit these monasteries. The hike to Tango was also our pre practice session for hiking Taktsang Monastery.

It was the month of April and weather was warm with the sign of showers. We reached base camp and started hiking. It started from the Parking lot. It was well paved path. I did not had any pre practice for the hike, being my first hike I was unsure whether I would complete it or not.

As started ascending, views of Himalayas started appearing. Path to the monastery is zigzag filled with pine,oak as well as rhododendron flower trees.

We passed through so many colorful prayer flags on the way.

After hiking for 30-45 minutes we reached halfway and stopped by Chorten and Prayer wheel.


From here after hiking for few minutes,stopped near meditation houses.You can have an excellent view of  the monastery straight ahead.

We  saw many locals who were going up for worship.

After another walk for 30 minutes or so we reached to the impressive sight of Monastery entrance. Remember the path is steep towards the end of hike and one has to climb few steps.

The Legend of Tango:

Tango is considered to be one of the supreme sacred places visited and blessed by Guru Rinpoche. It was first identified as sacred by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 13th century and was later established as a religious seat by Tshewang Tenzin, the second lineage-son of Drukpa Kunley. The 12 cornered structures were built in two months!

The monastery is the center for higher Buddhist studies. The wall of monastery is beautifully painted.

The view from Tango Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful.

The surrounding of monastery is so tranquil and peaceful that can be good reason for hike to Tango. We spend good time here and monks inside the monastery  took us to the different worship places.

Corridor on the way to temple

Despite the tough walk, thoroughly enjoyed the hike.

Apart from us, this cute dogie was also our companion in the entire hike.There were so many dogs near entrance,but they were harmless .

Travel Tips:

  • Monastery is located at an isolated area. I recommend to book taxi for both to and fro travel.
  • If you are booking package with local tour operators in Bhutan, you can include it in your itinerary.
  • The round trip hike is about 2.5 km and estimated hiking time is about 2 hours. It is easily doable by first timers.
  • You can hike both the Cherry and Tango monastery in a Day.
  • Photography is not allowed inside the Monastery.


Mayuri Patel

I am solo female traveler from India who is sharing experiences of her travel on the blog

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