Dochula Pass in Honour of 108 Bhutanese Soldiers.

Dochula Pass is the at 3100m (10171ft) high mountain pass  you will have to cross when traveling from Thimphu to the eastern part of Bhutan.
The pass offers an amazing 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayas on a clear day. Something I was not lucky enough to experience.

But Dochula Pass is also famous for the 108 memorial  stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” that is located on the top of the pass.

Dochula Pass
Some of the 108 stumpas as seen from the parking lot.
Would be easy to play hide and seek here, and some Indian kid was actually doing that.
Would be easy to play hide and seek here, and some Indian kid was actually doing that.
There´s a nice walkway around the stompas
There’s a nice walkway around the Stupas.
On the top of the pass
On the top of the pass

The 108 memorial stupas were built in memory of the 108 Bhutanese soldiers who were killed in the 2003 battle against Indian rebels during the first ever operation “Operation all Clear” conducted by the Royal Bhutan Army.

Dochula Pass is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan, especially since it’s located on the way between Thimphu and the old capital of Bhutan, Punakha. There’s also a small, clean and cozy restaurant near the pass.
As I was there it seemed like every single tourist stopped there for a lunch break.

Dochula Pass
The small restaurant at the top of Dochula Pass.

There’s also a small temple on the opposite side of the 108 Stupas, and up behind the small restaurant.
The temple which is actually a memorial to celebrate the 100 years of monarchy in Bhutanwas was built in 2008.

As in every other temple and monastery in Bhutan, you are strictly forbidden of taking photos inside the holy complex.
But this temple with the name Druk Wangyal Lhakhang, is decorated with a few paintings of the fourth king of Bhutan fighting the Indian rebels during “Operation All clear”.There´s also photos of monks with laptops and even a Druk Airplane on the wall inside the Temple.

Dochula_Pass
The Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.
The 108 Stompas as seen from the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.
The 108 Stupas as seen from the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.

The pass is pretty crowded most of the day. It closes down just before sunset, but the local traffic keeps on going past the Stupas all night.

The pass just before sunset, on a cloudy day.
The pass just before sunset, on a cloudy day.
The pass after sunset.

Additional information about Dochula Pass.

The pass is about 45min from Thimphu and about 2 and half hour from Punakha. There’s a military checkpoint between Thimphu and the pass, where your guide need to hand over a copy of your travel permit.

The road from the pass down to Punakha can get extremely muddy.

There is also an annual festival held on the pass on December 13 to celebrate the victory in the military “Operation All Clear”.

Like It? Share it! Pin It!

Discover dochula pass, the high mountain pass in Bhutan
Discover Dochula pass, the high mountain pass in Bhutan.
Discover dochula pass, the high mountain pass in Bhutan
Discover dochula pass, the high mountain pass in Bhutan
3 Comments
  1. The photos are wonderfully shot. But those 108 chortens, as you said, weren’t built in memory of 108 soldiers died. Indeed, the no of death was around 36 only. They were being built to celebrate victory of Bhutanese soldiers and bravery of K4 in leading the flush out activity.

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Featured On
Join me on my adventure