While driving to Punaka from Thimpu, we briefly stopped at Dochula Pass. It was a foggy morning that day but after a while the sky cleared up and we got a magnificent view of the Himalayas particularly Mount Masanggang, the highest peak in Bhutan. We were really lucky that day otherwise for most part of the year the weather here remains foggy and chilly.
The Docula pass is at an elevation of 3100 metres and is 30 kms away from Thimpu. It is the starting point of Dochula Nature Trail.
It is here that the eldest Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo WangChuk built 108 Chortens to honour the Bhutanese soldiers who died fighting the Indian rebels in 2003. The rebels were forced to exit Bhutan, by the 4th King who had personally lead 700 of his men to this victory.
The Chortens are built in 3 layers, 45 chortens in the 1st layer, followed by 36 chortens and finally 27 chortens in the third layer, around the main Chorten. Each Chorten contains offerings such as grains and bronze utensils plus clay images of Bhuddha.
Each Chorten also contains a “soksing”, made up of a long square wooden pole wrapped in a silk cloth, which provides a connection with heaven from earth.
There is a temple called Druk Wangyal Lhakhang nearby which was built in honour of Druk Gyalpo (head of Bhutan state). In the open grounds, in the front yard of the temple, the Docula Druk Wangyal Festival is held every year.
It is a beautifully built structure and should on one’s must see list.