Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! 

Tripoto

Kila Nunnery

Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach

Enroute Kila from Chalela Pass

Photo of Kila Nunnery, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Kila Nunnery, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Kila Nunnery, Bhutan by akanksha siwach

Kila Gompa Nunnery that dates back to the ninth century is a hidden treasure, nestled in the wilderness of Chalela. Perched on a dizzying rock cliff, with astounding views of the mighty Himalayan Ranges and the Paro Valley, this nunnery is every trekkers, riders delight. There were a total of 60 Nuns residing in the nunnery back in 2016, when i last visited. Some of their stories are unreal and inspiring. Known as the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, Kila is an offbeat destination attracting very few tourists.People who are intrigued by the lives of these simple maroon robed girls and at the same time looking for some refreshing time with the lesser known trails in the mountains shouldn’t give it a miss though. If you happen to visit the Nunnery, do carry small little something like munchies for the nuns as a kind gesture. Most of them are huge WAI WAI fans so carrying noodle packets for them isn’t a bad option. The nearest market is either in Paro or Haa Valley and therefore the nunnery is usually cut off form the civilization. Hence carrying snacks for them would be a great idea ???? Try reaching there early morning to catch a glimpse of the morning prayer rituals. out of all the five trips to Kela, the first hike remains special for after walking in the relentless rains, we were not only greeted fleeting clouds but also the hypnotic sound of the trumpets and chimes played at the monastery during early morning prayer rituals.

at Chalela Pass

Photo of Chele La, Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach

DRIVE/RIDE TO KILA

For those who are not into hiking, the Nunnery is easily accessible by road. If you’re driving up from Paro, the Nunnery is visible on the right hand side…as a tiny little Monastery hanging on a rock cliff. The right turn for the Gompa, is 10kms short of Chalela Pass. Once you take the right turn, you would hit an unpaved road covering a distance of 3 to 4kms. The Gompa is situated on the cliff at a height of 3500amsl surrounded by dense thick forest and spectacular Himalayan ranges. ( some of the highest peaks visible from here are Mt Chumolhari and Jichu Drake). Takes around one and a half hour drive from Paro Valley.

If you are coming from Haa side, the Nunnery falls 10 kms ahead of Chaela on your left.

Biking vibes

Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach

HIKING

The same route can be used for hiking up to Kila..would take you just 45 mins or an hour from the turn. Another route is, descending down from Chalela Pass ( towards the meteorological station side). But one is advised to go in a group for bears frequent the jungles nearby. The nuns shared a whole lot of bear spotting tales and one does find it eerie climbing all by yourself in the forest.

KILA for sure has left a huge mark and having visited this place five times, i can still say that i’d never get enough of it!

Here’s a glimpse of the Nunnery through my lens and words ????

As the dawn struck the boundless blue sky

Lighting up the magnificent Himalayas that stood so mighty and high!

While the warm sunshine kissed the snowy peaks with love

Just like a stream of gold..the sky looked splendid above!

So I set out on a journey to the mystical land so divine

Driving through the morning fog along the ambrosial rustling Pine

The dew on the vibrant flowers was yet to melt away

The sweet symphony of the rustling leaves echoed as the soft breeze made them sway

I packed my bags and with my trekking stick I hit the slushy ground

The monotony in the air was broken by the chirping that resound

The Spanish fungus that hung like chandeliers graced the mighty trees

Walking all by myself in the lap of nature..I felt like a spirit so free

One glimpse of the spectacular Monastery gleaming over the cliff

You couldn’t really tell and yet it looked as if

It called me out and embraced me in its Himalayan solitude

While I felt, I was transported to another world with all my pensive thoughts subdued!

The world you hear about in the stories or read about in the book

With pines and wild flowers all around and silver trouts shimmering in the Brook

The fallen woods lavishly clothed in the greenest of moss

The dazzling rhododendrons befitting the trees thriving across

And as I tread the road not taken.. one step after the other

The Gompa shone brilliantly and to my Haven I got closer

The enchanting drums and chimes played in harmony together

I knew I was making memories that I’d stow in my heart forever

And there they were draped in maroon.. living a life of enlightened souls

Some were barely 8 some in twenties while a few of them quite old

But no matter what the age they all had one similar quest

Leaving the worldly pleasures behind yet living life with full zest

And then there was one of them who remains in my memory etched

Who stood all alone by herself, kind of distinct from the rest

She had a tattoo on her hand from the life she lived before

With sparkle in her eyes, she talked about her dreams galore

She had that nostalgic smile, while she talked about her life as a carefree child

But then she wanted to be a nun ever since she was 10 and she had no regrets since she self exiled

Her grit and determination at this age took me quite aback

At eighteenth, I’d probably couldn’t care less when I now sit and look back

And just then the bells rang again signaling our rendezvous to an end

It was time to bid goodbye to this incredible new found friend

And As she joined the others singing praises to the Lord

For the first time ever , with my spiritual self it struck a chord

While I tredded back home on a stony path with a renewed insight

I knew I’d just made a memory to cherish and a story that I’d love to write!

While hiking up…leaving dense forest trails behind..

Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach

Strawberries abound…Trails like these!

Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach

Wilderness of Paro!

Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach

Clouds blurring our views so beautifully

Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach

At a chortan at the gompa..

Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Paro, Bhutan by akanksha siwach
Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach
Photo of Kila Nunnery( Bhutan)…..Where Faith and Mountains Meet! by akanksha siwach
Be the first one to comment