When I asked my Indian friends where they want to visit in Thimphu, they were saying Dochula pass. They have so much to tell about the pass. Indeed, they know history of Dochula Pass and its Chortens more than me!
They are from Calcutta and are in Bhutan on an official mission those days. I recommended Simply Bhutan (a cultural museum in Thimphu) and Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro as must-see places of Bhutan for them.
But they are ready to visit them only after visiting Dochula Pass. So I had to take them to Dochula Pass. We made a deal though to wake up at 6.00am and leave Dochula Pass at 6.30 the next day.
I just wanted them to feel the beauty of Dochula Pass during morning – before sunrise. They agreed to it.
We started the journey from Thimphu 25 minutes late the next day. Thimphu town has already become bright. I was worried whether we could make there before sunrise.
But luckily we could make there before sunrise. So the scene and its environmental beauty were awesome and very welcoming. My Indian friends loved them. They immediately started taking photos and posting in Facebook and Instagram.
Our journey towards Dochula Pass
Thimphu to Dochula Pass distance is around 24 km. In a normal speed, it would take at least one hour to get there from Thimphu.
Dochula is a pass between Thimphu and Wangdue. On the highest point of that pass, 110 small stupas have been constructed in dedication to K4 and soldiers of Bhutan.
The small 110 are collectively known as Druk Wangyel Chortens. Tourists go from here to other tourist attraction places like Chimi Lhakhang, Lam Pelri Nature Park, Phobjikha, Punakha river rafting and sight seeings.
Bhutan government has also started Dochula tshechu sometime in 2011 to commemorate HM K4 and Armed forces’ victory over insurgent forces. It’s now conducted annually in December.
Dochula Pass Tourist attractions
The scenic natural beauty blended with magnificent masonry grandeur of those 110 chortens will take away your breath. And if you can make at dawn or dusk, the view improves manifolds. Dochula Pass is indeed the top Instagram-worth place of Bhutan.
If it’s in winter we can enjoy beauty of distant snow-capped mountains muffled with clean fluffy clouds. Sometimes environment looks surrealistically beautiful with rising of light clouds and mist.
However, with the increase in number of people vising Dochula, now new cafes and handicraft shops have come up. During winter, Dochula Pass temperature would be low. And when there is snowfall, temperature would be in negative. However, you can treat yourself with warm Bhutanese Suja tea and snacks inside Dochula Cafeteria.
Now even elderly people can walk around comfortably. Many friendly concrete trails have been made. There is also another beautiful temple – Druk Wangyel Lhakhang. There are also few concrete meditation caves where you can sit and try short-term meditation.
Things to remember
On the way to Dochula pass from Thimphu, there is an immigration check point at Hongtsho. Tourists will be asked to produce Dochula Pass permit or travel document. Don’t forget to take them or remind your guide about it.
You might suffer from altitude sickness. You can eat chewing gums or take sweets or few chocolate bars. Because Dochula pass height is 3,000+ meters above sea level.
Bhutanese believe drinking alcohol is also one solution. But I am not sure how well it works. If you get symptoms of altitude sickness, don’t touch or sniff any plants or flowers.
During winter, you can expect to be cold. Take woolen hand cloves, sun glasses and wear warm clothes. If you want to hold night, there is Dochula Resort few meters away just above the Punakha-Thimphu road.
If you aren’t wearing hard soled shoes or slippers, don’t get out of those concrete trails. Thrones and other spiky plants may prick you.
However, it’s worth travelling to Dochula. My Indian friends loved it. I had to literally beg them in leaving. We left at around 12.40. And on the way they were sharing their wonderful experience of being there at Dochula Peak- a place of 110 Druk Wangyel Chortens in Thimphu.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting travel stories from Bhutan:
- Travel Gasa – the land of unnatural peaks and hot springs in Bhutan.
- 17 best places to visit – CNN has included Bhutan in the list.
- 45 uncommon facts of Bhutan all Tourists need to know.
- Eastern Bhutan Travel – My experiences at Yonphula Airport.
- Royal Botanical Park of Bhutan at Lampelri, a nice place to visit.
- Bumdeling – winter residence of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan.
- Bumthang Travel – Experiences and stories of a traveller.
- The largest Guru Statue – Travel map to Lhuentse Takila.
- Bhutanese celebrate first snowfall as the symbol of prosperity.
- Gasa Tsachu – an ultimate tourist attraction of Gasa Dzongkhag.