Places to stay near Chele La
Reviews of Chele La • 9
This is the highest motor able pass in Bhutan and one has to drive up round the Paro valley through dense spruce and larch forest to reach Chele La. As I visited Bhutan in spring, this uphill journey was flanked by thick masses of white Rhododendrons on both sides. Horses were grazing in the pasturelands. The view at the summit were just breathtaking and worth the effort to travel from Paro. In Autumn season, if you go there on a clear day, you can get spectacular views of Mt. Julmohori and Haa valley to the north west.
We were late by an hour on our first day of sightseeing and we set off for Chele la Pass, which at 3988m elevation is the highest point on the famous Dantak road. It was a 2 hour uphill drive to this point, a path speckled with scenic beauty of the densely covered forests and view of the snow covered mountain peaks of the Himalayas. The point is marked with colorful flags fluttering in the wind, which are believed to keep demons away and colorful rhododendrons that shine under the bright sun.
Next day we headed for Paro. We went to Chelela Pass and the Paro Museum.Paro is the site of the country’s only international airport.
Day 5, Nov 5th, 2017: We got a wakeup call from Vishnu at 09:00 hrs. We headed to see the very famous Rinpung Dzong of Paro, which had a similar landscape like the Dzong in Thimphu. The river Paro Chuu which was streaming beside the Dzong, was adding panache to its beauty. Our next destination was the Chele La Pass which is at an elevation of 13000 feet. The road to Chele la pass was unique in every way. There were shades of spring & autumn trees all around; snow-capped landscape was getting crystal clear with each passing hair pin bend. Withered dandelions, wild flowers, lazy Yaks, everything your eyes long to see in a road trip.
After our visit to the three important places in Thimphu, we talked to the same driver and told him to drop us to Paro. We also told him to take us to Chela La Pass, which is also one of the highest passes in Bhutan.In around 2-3 hours we reached Chele la Pass and from Chele La Pass (3800m) we got a short look at Mt Jhomolhari (7314m). We strolled a couple of hundred meters north among prayer flags, and after that took a trail that completes the slope glades and woodland down to Kila Goemba at 3650m. It is a decent stroll through pine forest, offering great perspectives of Paro Valley.
Day 6: A day filled with thrill and adventure. Drive to Chele la-la pass (3988 m) known as one of the highest motor able passes in the country. The chele la ridge offers gardens of himalayan flowers, plants and of special pleasant species. Water is Scarce on these ridges. We were lucky enough we could enjoy cottony snowfall as we reached but the chilled winter didn't allow to stay back for long.
We started for Haa Valley via Chele La pass. The drive is through a narrow road up-hill, which after an hour opens up to the highest motorable pass in Bhutan, Chele La adorned with colourful, red and white flags.
We crossed the Chele La Pass- highest motorable road of Bhutan - enroute Haa. Situated at 13000 feet above MSL we got chilled to bones as we were riding after sundown. I warmed myself crouched next to the engine with hands almost on the exhaust to revive sensation.
Its a one and a half hour drive to the chele la pass from paro town . The drive is really scenic and quite steep compared to other drives in bhutan because u are climbing from 7000 feet to 12500 feet in just 90 minutes. The day we had planned to go to the pass , it was really cloudy with no sunlight whatsoever. Our driver suggested to go the next day as it might rain again and the visibility will be very low so we wont be able to see the valley from the top. Anyway , i stuck to the plan and we were off by 10 . though we did not encounter rain but the sky was overcast all along the way , which by the way gave it a very romantic feeling of travelling in rain drenched mountain forests with wisps of clouds of floating by and tall trees zipping by on either side. finally when we arrived, there was not a soul in sight. May be, most of the tourists had rearranged their schedule. Anyway there was a pathway with abyss on one side and rocky surface on the other. As i walked along the path , i had to be extra careful of the abyss since the visibility was really low. The valley below was not visible at all due to heavy cloud covering and as the clouds floated across me, i felt as if i am am being sprayed with tiny droplets of ice cold water. My hands were trembling due to the cold and every now and then , i had to feel the warmth of my jacket pockets. On top of that, since the pathway was pretty narrow, i was tantalising close to falling in the valley below. Infact, it was one of the best experience of the trip because when u are in such situations all alone, u grow as a person.