Walking Around Thimpu & Punakha : Bhutan (Jun’18) – Day 2

Thimphu to Punakha : Distance: 71 km & estimated driving time: 2 ½ hours. Drive over the DochuLa pass (3140m) in the morning. On clear weather, we can see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan.

Walking Around Thimpu & Punakha : Bhutan (Jun’18) - Day 2 1

My Walking Story :

My day second plan for Bhutan trip was to visit Punakha, they suggested that it was a beautiful place and one should visit over there. It was three to four hours of travelling from Thimphu, so we got ready and completed our breakfast in the hotel. While our guide came down to pick up from the hotel and get inside the van and left for the Punakha. Now there was a place between Thimphu to Punakha, which is known as Dochula Pass.

From Thimphu, this place is 2 hours distance away. Dochula Pass: The Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow-covered Himalayas within Bhutan on the road from Thimphu to Punakha where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” have been built by the queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, to honour the victory of the Bhutanese army in the 2003 war of Southern Bhutan.

Each one contains effigies of Buddha and religious texts. On a slope nearby, there is a large collection of colourful prayer flags and poles. This site represents peace. At over 3000 meters above sea level, Dochula pass grants one a view of Bhutan in all directions. At one of the viewing points, 108 stupas (chortens) were constructed as a memorial. On a clear day, the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas can be seen. However, the weather was too foggy, making it so nothing was visible past the cliff edge.

It is an eerie feeling not knowing if there is something twenty feet out or twenty miles. We explore this place and lots of scenic views were there and it was at a certain height, it was cloudy weather, and clouds were moving up and down, it feels like I am in heaven, so beautiful and I must say that words cannot describe its beauty. Do check my capture images to feel the exact atmosphere of the place. While on the way over their local people selling corn so I tried that as well. I had clicked many photos of Dochula Pass.

While we had our lunch at the village side name Metsina village: they have arranged our lunch over there and the moment we visit over there, our buffet lunch was already ready over there in the restaurant. I can see the proper view of the village from the glass side where I was sitting. It took one hour to finish our lunch and clicked a few pictures of the restaurant. As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we can see banana plants, cactus and other semi-tropical plants, and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha.

After done with delicious lunch we have to walk to a temple as just like a village we have to walk through the narrow path side, the village view was nice and then we reach the temple and surrounding the temple there was a market and village. So, I bought a shawl for my mother and a few other things as well, as I don’t wait for later if I like anything, I purchase for my loved ones. You can see the picture of the village and temple on my blog page. I like their construction part as well, how beautifully they have done their work to build anything, its appreciable.

Then we left the place at around 4 pm for Punakha and the main destination over there was known as Punakha Dzong. It comes in between the Punakha way; we stop our van and click some lovely photos of the place. There were a lake and such lovely cool weather, calm place excluding all the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan cities. I was feeling like I am in heaven, in a lap of nature and my soul was feeling good and happy. We went inside and I love everything about the place. Moreover, we begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers.

It serves as the winter residence for the central monastic body. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was held there. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.

Then in the evening, we reach Punakha, wherein they help us with the check-in the hotel. What I say about the hotel, it was an awesome place to live, in a room I was feeling like I am sitting in the lap of nature and we had a private balcony as well. My friend and his wife stay in one room, while his son and myself stayed in another one. Seriously such beautiful weather including mountain, cool weather along with greenery and my eyes was not getting enough of such a lovely view, while I always wish to revisit at such kind of places.

We all did rest for an hour and then my friend said that we will explore the local market of Punakha in the evening time and buy a few drinks from there. It was 3-4 kms away from the hotel, as by walking one cannot go nor there was any conveyance available. So, our driver drops us at the local market, and we started observing the market and then we find a restaurant where we had momos along with tea plus drink, we spend around an hour in the market. We return to the hotel at around 6 in the evening and sat in the balcony and did party over there for a couple of hours.

Finally, I went for the dinner and it was damn delicious, I just loved it and after dinner, we sat in the bar which was within the hotel only and had some healthy conversation along with fun. The weather was good and even the rooms were awesome and comfortable. Do check all the pictures I am you will love this place. We went into the room at around 10 pm and had a nice sleep with a happy soul. Thank you!

Dochula Pass: 108 Stupas

The Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas within Bhutan on the road from Thimpu to Punakha where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens” have been built by the queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, to honor the victory of the Bhutanese army in the 2003 war of Southern Bhutan. Each one contains effigies of Buddha and religious texts. On a slope nearby, there is a large collection of colorful prayer flags and poles. This site represents peace.

At over 3000 meters above sea level, Dochula pass grants one a view of Bhutan in all directions. At one of the viewing points, 108 stupas (chortens) were constructed as a memorial. On a clear day, the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas can be seen. However, the weather was too foggy, making it so nothing was visible past the cliff edge. It is an eerie feeling not knowing if there is something twenty feet out or twenty miles.

Walking Around Thimpu & Punakha : Bhutan (Jun’18) - Day 2 2

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Metsina village

As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we can see banana plants, cactus and other semi-tropical plants, and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha.

On the way, stop for lunch at Metsina village and then hike to the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing. Divine Madman” known for his outrageous behavior.

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Punakha Dzong

We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers. It serves as the winter residence for the central monastic body. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Punakha had served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 till 1907 and the 1st National Assembly was held there. The dzong is historically important and stands as the symbol for a unified Bhutan.

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