Sunday, 25 June 2017

Chele La and Paro Sightseeing, Bhutan Diaries - 4



Our plan for the day was to visit Chele La in the first half of the day and in the remaining half do some local sight seeing in Paro.

We  started at 7:30 AM. On the way we saw the quaint Paro airport. It's a very small airport nestled between the hills and also adjacent to the Paro river. We saw a few Druk Airways planes in the open hanger. Druk Airways, Air Bhutan and Buddha Air are the only three airliners allowed to operate in Bhutan. Also since landing and taking off from Paro airport is categorized as very difficult so there are only a handful of pilots in the entire world who have licence to fly planes in Paro.

View point

And this is the bird's eye view

On the way we stopped by a beautiful alpine meadow. This is where yak herders come down to stay during the harsh winters is what our driver Ugyen told us.There were horses all around and one horse came close to me as we got down from the car. Initially I was scared and tried to move away, but wherever I was going the horse was following. So finally I understood that he just wants my company...haha. He gave me some good photos to bring back home.

Me with the friendly horse

someone busy posing

That's a little one staring right at us!

Alpine meadows

Ugyen 


We reached Chele La. It was windy and a little cold. 'La' means a mountain pass and Chele La at 13000ft is one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. We took a small walk till the stupa and came back. By that time a few make-shift shops had opened, one was selling tea,samosa,momos and maggi. Two more shops were there operating from a van who were selling souvenir. However there are no toilet facility.

At Chele La

At Chele La

At Chele La

At Chele La
only shop selling momo and tea at Chele La

Shops at  Chele La

Shops

At Chele La

Plenty of these we found at Chele La


On a clear day Mt Jomolhari, Tiger's Nest and Paro airport can be seen from Chele La pass. We waited for sometime for the dense cloud to move and we were lucky to see all three.

Mt Jomolhari

Tiger's Nest at seen from Chele La


We had already seen the Rinpung, also known as the Paro Dzong the day before so we went to Ta Dzong. Ta Dzong is situated just at the back of Paro Dzong. Long back it was built as a watch tower to protect Paro Dzong from enemies. Today it serves as the National Museum of Bhutan. Entry fee for tourists from SAARC countries is 25 BTM. The museum has a fascinating collection of art, masks,relics and paintings. A very clear and fascinating view of the Paro city can be seen from here.

Ta Dzong

At Ta Dzong

At Ta Dzong

Ta Dzong
view of Paro city from Ta Dzong

Ta Dzong

At Ta Dzong
At Ta Dzong

At Ta Dzong

Next we went to Kyichu Lhakhang. It is a Buddhist temple and considered to be one of the oldest. One cannot miss the orange trees in the temple complex and it is believed that the orange trees bear fruit throughout the year.

Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang
Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang

The orange trees in Kyichu Lhakhang bear fruit throughout the year

Our final destination for the day was Drukgyel Dzong. On the way to Drukgyel Dzong we saw the Tiger's Nest Monastery from far away on another hill. The Drukgyel Dzong was built as a monastery cum fortress and was destroyed in a fire in 1950 probably due to fire from butter lamps. A part of it is now rebuild and the remaining work is going on. A short steep walk upto Drukgyel Dzong will reward any visitor with commanding views of the village and surrounding mountains.

Drukgyel Dzong

Drukgyel Dzong


Next day is the much anticipated day of the entire trip because we will be going to Tiger's Nest Monastery.

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