Dochu La Pass

Among the tourists, this place is particularly important because of the 108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens and the clear views of mountains such as Mt. Gangkar Puensum (7,158 metres).

Dochu La is a mountain pass located at an altitude of 3080 metres (10,200 feet) on the road from Thimphu to Punakha. The word “Do” in Dzongkha (Bhutan’s National Language) means rock, “Chu” means water, and “La” means pass. Hence Dochu La translate to the pass of rock and water. Among the tourists, this place is particularly important because of the 108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens and the clear views of mountains such as Mt. Gangkar Puensum (7,158 metres).

The 108 Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens of Dochula Pass were built under the patronage of the eldest Queen Mother, Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. In 2003 there was skirmish between Indian insurgents and the Bhutan army. These Chortens were built to honor the soldiers who became martyrs during the battle. Today, popularly known as the Dochu La chortens, the structure of the assortment are in three layers atop a hill. The first level has 45 chortens, the second level has 36 chortens, and the topmost layer has 27 chortens, all built around the main structure.

There is also a temple called the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang nearby. This was built in honor of the fourth Dragon King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. Today it is also the venue of a Tsechu (festival) honoring the victory of the fourth king over insurgents in 2003. The festival takes place in December.

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