Bhutan | Dochula

Dochula Pass – 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour

Dochula | Bhutan

09 Nov 2019 | Sat

Day 03 of 13

  • Drive | Thimphu to Punakha
  • Dochula Pass | 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens
  • Lunch | Divine Cafeteria Punakha
  • Chimi Lhakhang
  • Punakha Dzong
  • Drubchhu Resort Punakha

Dochula Pass | 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

Dochu La Pass (3,118 m / 10,230 ft.) offers panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges (visibility permitting). The area around this pass is believed to be inhabited by numerous spirits, including a cannibal demoness. A temple in the Punakha Valley (which we will visit later) was built in honor of the Lama Drukpa Kunley who subdued these spirits and demons.

108 Druk Wangyal Chortens was commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2001 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan-Indian border.

Embrace Bhutan Travel

Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens (Stupas)

The Dochu La ( Dochu Pass, la means pass in Dzongkha) is a mountain pass in the snow-covered Himalayas within Bhutan on the road from Thimphu 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 (head of the state of Bhutan), Jigme Singye Wangchuck; the open grounds in its front yard is a venue for the annual Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival. The pass with 108 memorial chortens is adjacent to the country’s first Royal Botanical Park.

Dochu Pass is located at an elevation of 3,100 metres (10,200 ft) (3,140 metres (10,300 ft) and 3,150 metres (10,330 ft) are also mentioned) on the East West Road from Thimphu 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 the Himalayas are seen prominently and among them is the Mt. Masanggang at 7,158 metres (23,484 ft) which is the highest peak in Bhutan, known in local language as the Mt. Gangkar Puensum. 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 (the old capital of Bhutan), which is located at the confluence of two rivers.

The Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens are red-band or khangzang chortens, 108 in numbers, built in a central hillock at the pass, under the patronage of the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. 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 (there were 30 camps) in Bhutanese territory from where they raiding Indian territory of Assam. After the war the king went back to Thimphu on 28 December 2003 and at this stage the 108 chortens were being built. They were completed in mid June 2004 and formally consecrated and sanctified with religious rites held on 19–20 June.

– from Wikipedia Dochula Pass and Druk Wangyal Chortens

Beautiful Chortens (Stupas) Overlooking Eastern Himalayan Mountains

Impressive Chortens (Stupas) And Beautiful Views Of Eastern Himalayan Mountains

As a part of our beautiful drive to Punakha, crossed our first big pass Dochula Pass (3,118 m / 10,230 ft.). This site is famous for its 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens (dedicated to Bhutanese soldiers who lost their lives in a battle against Assamese insurgents from India).

We were so lucky to have beautiful weather with clear views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains (and Bhutan’s highest peak – Mt. Masanggang at 7,158 meters (23,484 ft).

Coffee And Tea At 60th Café

After taking many pictures of the beautiful 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens and the surrounding Himalayan Mountains, the group got together and shared a cup of coffee and tea at the 60th Café, which overlooks the Chortens.

Sharing Cup of Coffee and Tea at 60th Café

Dochula Pass | 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

Map – Dochula Pass | 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens

Leave a Comment