5 Dorji Dukpa - a month ago
Dochula Pass is a beautiful mountain pass located between Thimphu and Punakha in Bhutan. Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, the eldest Queen Mother of Bhutan built 108 memorial chortens known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” at Dochula Pass in honour of the fourth king, His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The chortens were built adjacent to the country’s first Royal Botanical Park. The Dochula Pass is a historical landmark built to honour the bravery and sacrifices of the fourth king and the soldiers who perished during the battle against Assamese insurgents in 2003. 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 raided Indian territory of Assam. After the war, the King went back to Thimphu on 28 December 2003. Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck commanded for the 108 chortens to be built. The construction of the chortens was completed in mid-June 2004 and formally consecrated and sanctified with religious rites on 19–20 June 2004.
108 memorial chortens at Dochula Pass
The chortens were built in three layers; the first lowest layer has forty-five chortens, the second has thirty-six and the top layer has twenty-seven built around the main chorten. The construction of these chortens was done as per religiously ordained ritualistic procedures. As the height of the chortens attained 1m, a pit was excavated in the ground in the centre, and symbolically offerings of grains and bronze utensils filled with butter were placed in the pit. At the next stage, as the height of chortens increased, images of Buddhist gods made of clay stuffed with papers inscribed with prayers were interred. Following that, which is considered the "vital stage", the fixing of the sokshing meaning "the life tree of the chorten" was erected. The sokshing, which is believed to provide a link between heaven and earth within a chorten, is in the form of a long square wooden pole made from a juniper tree made by an individual who has appropriate qualities from an astrological point of view. The pole was painted in red colour and inscribed with sacred hymns and banded with religious paraphernalia such as gilded images of gods, prayer bells, small clay stupas, and also precious stones and jewellery. The sokshing was then wrapped around by silk cloth and then fixed in the partly built chorten on an auspicious day. Breathtaking view from Dochula Pass
Dochula Pass is one of the main highlights for many tourists. You can never take a bad photo at the stunning Dochula Pass. In fact, if you are lucky, you can even see the Himalayan range in full view on a clear day from the mountain pass. Gangkar Puensem at 7,158 metres (23, 484 ft), the tallest unclimbed mountain in the world, can be seen from Dochula Pass.
If you are going to Punakha (the old capital) from the current capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, you’ll definitely pass through Dochula Pass. The pass was part of an ancient trail between Thimphu and Punakha, such as the Dochu La Nature Trail [1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi)] which begins at the Dochu La cafe and meets the present road at Lamperi, and the Lumitsawa Ancient Trail [4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi)] that connect the main road at Lumitsawa. Both trails are sections of the original route. What is the best time to visit Dochula Pass
The weather at the pass generally remains foggy and chilly. However, between October and February, panoramic views of the Bhutan Himalayas can be seen. The Dochula Pass remains beautiful in all seasons. Sometimes, you may even see snowfall at Dochula Pass and capture the chortens majestically covered in snow.