Thursday Thoughts – 108 Chortens and A Himalayan Panorama

Between Paro and the Capital of Bhutan, Thimpu, the road takes you over the Dochula Pass (3140 m) with its 108 chortens. A chorten is a kind of stupa, often built at crossroads and passes to ward off evil. And all chortens contain religious relics.

The Druk Wangyal Khang Zhang Chortens are red-band or khangzang chortens, built in a central hillock at the pass, under the patronage of the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. In local language they are called ”chortens of victory”, because they were built as a memorial in honour of the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed in the December 2003 battle against Assamese insurgents from India. It also marks the victory of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who dislodged the rebels from their camps in Bhutanese territory.

This is a peaceful place for slow walks – contemplating life, feeling the fresh air and nature’s beauty.

Circumambulating clockwise.

When the sun comes shining through – my heart shines too.

The rhododendrons and magnolias touch the sky.

After the completion of the chortens, the temple known as the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was built in June 2008 – as a memorial to celebrate 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan.

From the Dochula Pass you will, on a clear day, have a panoramic view of the Himalayan  range. The best time is in October/November, but we were still quite lucky this day.

On the far right you will find the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Gangkar Puensum, 7564 meters. It is also the highest mountain in Bhutan.

Since 1994, climbing of mountains in Bhutan higher than 6,000 meters has been prohibited out of respect for local spiritual beliefs, and since 2003 mountaineering has been completely forbidden.

But somewhere, far away behind the treetops, these enigmatic giants are waiting…


41 reaktioner på ”Thursday Thoughts – 108 Chortens and A Himalayan Panorama

  1. Pingback: Thursday Thoughts – The End of the Journey | Leya

  2. After recently seeing the debacle that Everest base camp has become, I can understand these people wanting some respect for their natural resources. How dare we go traipsing in with all our gear just because the mountain is tall and we wish to climb it? Gorgeous photos of the chortens, Ann-C.

    • Otto, I hope you will go there – it is more than you really can take in…more than you can imagine. And now – I am only making up plans to return there in the not to faraway future. I have to.

      • Oh, I think I never had a list, really. But the two or three last years we have visited places I thought was beyond my possibilities to reach. I am very grateful. Bhutan holds a special place in my heart – forever.

      • Well, you might go if you stay away from the trekking and take it easy. We had a lady on our trip who fell ill and could only participate in some of the activities. She had had surgery some weeks before going, and I guess she should have stayed and not taken on this ordeal. But, Bhutan had been a dream of hers for so long, so she went anyway. Unfortunately I don’t think it was worth it for her – she missed out on too much.

  3. Vilken fantastisk plats att vandra runt på, så otroligt vackert, både byggnader och omgivande nature. Den sista bilden är bara så helt underbar, mäktigt!

Halva verket är läsarens - så, vad säger Du? As the second half is the reader's - I'd love to have Your line!

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