Roadtrip

Tara lhakhang, a mini getaway to Paro with the cutest tent café

Getting there

It is a serene temple located about a 30-minute drive from Paro Tshongdu. To reach there, just take the junction opposite to the one that leads to Gangtey Palace. It’s also the same road that leads to Zachakha and Gorina lhakhangs. There’s a tiny signboard near the junction and also a few more along the way so it’s easy to figure out the route. The road is a bit bumpy but is okay even for small cars. There’s another way from the road to Chelela but the former is the more commonly taken route.

First sight of the Tara temple and its compound

First sight of the temple and its compound

The temple

A small, 1-storied structure with the front porch encased in glass to create two rooms with the most picturesque views to help one feel relaxed while praying/ meditating. The temple has a huge, beautiful compound making it feel more like a resort. Because it is dedicated to Tara, it has statues of the 21 taras along with a few other statues; and is one of the few places in Bhutan where you’re allowed to take photographs inside. However, just ask for permission in case they change this.

The glass rooms at the entrance to the temple

The compound has a library, separate kitchen, and dining area as well as multiple hostels for the monks residing there. There’s also a café in the compound with a canopy nearby where you can have your lunch if you go for picnics.

The Café

The café during the day and night time

A newly established cozy tent café called the Tara café. It is an 18-sided polygonal structure with a transparent section so that you can relax at the café with a spectacular view of the temple and the compound. It can accommodate up to 10 people at a time. The kitchen is a separate structure just behind the tent.

The view from inside the tent café

The view from inside the tent café

As a new café, there was no menu when we visited. But they have a couple of hot drinks, snacks, and pastry options for you to choose from. However, if you want to have lunch there, you have to inform them a day in advance to give them ample time to prepare. They also provide picnic baskets but you might need to book that in advance as well.

We had hot chocolate, honey lemon tea, and fries. They were all really well-made. A little expensive but you’re paying for the experience also so I think it’s definitely worth it.

From the temple compound, you get panoramic views of the Paro valley below along with a birds eye view of the international airport. The views are perfect for photo sessions as well as for enjoying a relaxing cup of tea.

Mesmerizing view from the temple compound

Amidst the pandemic and travel restrictions, such places are a sight for sore eyes. So whether you’re looking for an easy getaway with friends and family or seeking a luxury vibe without the associated cost, I’d definitely recommend this place. Besides, just the photo opportunity is a reason as good as any for visiting the temple and the café.

Your thoughts?

Bored during this pandemic? Keep yourself engaged by reading and find out places to visit with your friends and family once the situation improves. Stay safe peeps!

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