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Dochula Pass – Travel experiences with Indian Tourists

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morning beauty of dochula pass

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 more than me!

They are from Calcutta and are in Bhutan on an official mission these days. I recommended Simply Bhutan (a cultural museum in Thimphu) and Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) in Paro.

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 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.

Near Simtokha Dzong, on the way to Dochula Pass
Near Simtokha Dzong, on the way to Dochula Pass

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.

Commonly seen bird at Dochula
Commonly seen bird at Dochula pass

But luckily we could make there before sunrise. So the scene and its environmental beauty were awesome. My Indian friends loved them.

Our journey towards Dochula Pass

It’s at the distance of around 24 KM from Bhutan and in a normal speed, it would take at least one hour.

Into woods at Dochula pass
My friends making fun of my shooting style from woods

Dochula is a pass between Thimphu and Wangdue. On the highest point of that pass, 108 small stupas have been constructed in dedication to K4 of Bhutan.

Dochula chortens view when shot from woods
Dochula chortens view when shot from woods

The small 108 are collectively known as Druk Wangyel Chortens. Tourists go from here to other tourist attraction places like Chimi Lhakhang, Lam Pelri Nature Park, Punakha river rafting and sight seeings.

Dochula 108 chortens view from another side of the hill
Dochula 108 chortens view from another side of the hill

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 architectural grandeur of those 108 chortens will take away your breath. And if you can make at dawn or dusk, the view improves manifolds.

Dochula parking
Spacious parking area at Dochula

If it’s in winter we can enjoy beauty of distant snow-capped mountains muffled with clean fluffy clouds.

Cafe at Dochula
New cafe is yet to open at Dochula

However, with the increase in number of people vising Dochula, now new cafes and handicraft shops have come up.

Walking trails at Dochula
Concrete walking trails made above Dochula chortens

Now even elderly people can walk around comfortably. Many friendly concrete trails have been made. There is also another beautiful temple.

Things to remember

On the way to Dochula pass from Thimphu, there is an immigration checkpost at Hongtsho. Tourists will be asked to produce route permit or travel document. Don’t forget to take them or remind your guide.

When you go Dochula pass, be reminded that you are getting on a higher altitude place – 3,000+ meters above sea level. You suffer from altitude sickness. You can eat chewing gums or take sweets.

Something you shouldn't do during winter at Dochula
Something you shouldn’t do during winter at Dochula

Bhutanese believe drinking alcohol is also one solution. But I am not sure how well it works.

Meeting spot at Dochula
They say it would be a good spot for corporate meeting

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 road.

Tourist hotel at Dochula
Dochula Resort seen in distance from peak

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.

We still had time for the last shot at Dochula
We still had time for the last shot at Dochula

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 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens in Thimphu.

Recommend to read following travel experiences and more exciting stories from Bhutan:

  1. 17 best places to visit – CNN has included Bhutan in the list.
  2. 45 uncommon facts of Bhutan all Tourists need to know.
  3. Eastern Bhutan Travel – My experiences at Yonphula Airport.
  4. Royal Botanical Park of Bhutan at Lampelri, a nice place to visit. 
  5. Bumdeling – winter residence of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan.
  6. Bumthang Travel – Experiences and stories of a traveller.
  7. The largest Guru Statue – Travel map to Lhuentse Takila.
  8. Bhutanese celebrate first snowfall as the symbol of prosperity. 

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