Do Chu La is a mountain pass, halfway between Thimphu and Punakha. At 10,500 ft, it is Western Bhutan's highest elevation. It gives a breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains of the Eastern Himalayan range. One can see five of the seven highest peaks of Bhutan, including Gangkhar Phuensum (over 24,000 ft), the highest unclimbed peak in the world.
The surreal beauty of Do Chu La is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens - 108 identical Chortens that have been built on the mountain.
The Chortens were built by the eldest Queen of King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, in remembrance of the 'Glorious Victory' in the 2003 war in the southern region of Bhutan, and also a celebration of the stability and prosperity of the nation. The unique cluster of the 108 Khangzang Wangyal Chhortens spiral up to a main monument.
The designs on the Chortens were amazing. I took a closer look at the minutely detailed work.
Facing the Chortens on the crest of Do Chu La stand the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang. The lhakhang is a beautiful edifice in the traditional Zangto Pelri design. Inside, there is a jewel-studded floor and an intricately painted ceiling, and all walls are covered in subtly ornate artwork.
An icy wind was blowing, and the temperature must have been close to freezing. Regretfully, we said goodbye to Do Chu La and drove off, carrying the scene in our hearts, and captured by our cameras.