Often referred to as Shangri-La, Bhutan is on the top of more than a few peoples travel bucket list, and a trip to the beautiful country would be incomplete without a trek to the Docula Pass. The Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas which connects the capital city of Thimpu to the old capital, Punakh. At over 3000 meters above sea level, the Dochula Pass grants a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range, and well, most of Bhutan in every direction.
While it may sound like a hard, strenuous journey to make, getting to the pass is actually not that difficult. Located roughly two hours’ drive away from the town of Paro, where the airport and many Paro Hotel‘s like the Brand Uma by COMO, Paro, Bhutan are situated; a day trip to the pass and back to the comforts of the hotel is quite possible.
Aside from the glorious views it has to offer, the pass is also famous for a war memorial built at one of the viewing points. In 2004, 108 memorial Buddhist Stupas, known locally as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” were erected in commemoration of soldiers who had died fighting in the 2003 south Bhutan war. The sight of the gracefully stupas, each one filled with statues of the Buddha and religious scriptures, has attracted many tourists and locals alike.
Not far from the stupas is the Druk Wangyel Lhakhng temple which was built to celebrate 100 years of the Bhutan monarchy. Unlike other temples, this one has some rather unique wall paintings that depict Bhutan’s history; some of the images include a king fighting invading rebels, and monks with laptops. Despite the modern murals, the temple is still a place of worship and many people come here to pray and find solace.
The Dochula Pass is especially breathtaking on clear days when the majestic snow-capped mountains and green forest form an unforgettable backdrop to the serenity of the 108 chortens and the Druk Wangyel Lhakhng temple.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.