Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass - Top attraction of Bhutan

The Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas within Bhutan on the road from Thimpu to Punakha where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” have been built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. Apart from the chortens there is a monastery called the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple), built in honour of the fourth Druk Gyalpo , Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

The landmarks around the pass include 108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens or stupas, The chortens are built in three layers, the first lowest level layer has forty five chortens, the second has thirty six and the top layer has twenty seven built around the main chorten.

The Chortens are red-band or khangzang chortens, 108 in numbers, built in a central hillock at the pass. In local language they are called gYul Las rNampar Gyal wai’ chortens or chortens of victory.These were built as a memorial in honour of the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed in the December 2003 battle against Assamese insurgents from India. It particularly marks the victory of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who dislodged the rebels from their camps in Bhutanese territory.

After completion of the chortens, building of a temple known as the Druk Wangyel Lhakhng, with the backdrop of “pristine” forest of the snow covered Himalayan mountains, was initiated and completed in June 2008. This was built as a memorial to celebrate 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan. Paintings on themes of Bhutanese history decorate the walls of the temple.

The pass is located at an elevation of 3,100 metres (10,200 ft) and 3,150 metres (10,330 ft) are also mentioned) on the East West Road from Thimpu to Punakha and further east in the Himalayas amidst the Eastern Himalayan snow-covered mountains.To the east of the pass, the snow clad mountain peaks of Mt. Masanggang at 7,158 metres (23,484 ft) which is the highest peak in Bhutan can be seen.

The road east of the pass runs steep for some distance and then takes a left turn towards Punakha Valley to the Punakha Dzong, in Punakha . Further east the road reaches Wangdi Phodrong where there a 7th-century monastery on the ridge, and the valley is drained by the Punatsangchu River.

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