Our driver looks for RST officer in every possible places of the RST office building but fails miserably. Seeing unhappiness in our faces he says, “Sir ji, I can take you upto Dochula Pass but beyond that it is not possible to move without a permit”. He further proposes to take us to Chelela Pass which is about 35KM away from Paro Valley to compensate our miss of the Phunaka tour. We agree to his proposals and set out journey for Dochula Pass.
It is now only 2 km left to Dochula Pass. We see some vehicles are standing ahead in queue.
“What happened ahead?”, asks our driver to a by passer.
“Road widening work is in progress”, he replies.
We come out from the car and see that a small notice board is placed on the middle of the road to inform the schedule of road closing hours and according to it we need to spend an hour here. We start strolling nearby places. Suddenly sun goes out and weather turns cloudy. A few snow starts showering on us and we astonish by such a gift of God.
We start again after an hour and reach Dochula Pass within 10-15 minutes. It is approximately 30KM away from Thimphu city and is popular for offering a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range on a clear day. But a scattered little snow shower continues hereto and the most magnificent views of white Himalayan mountains remain invisible to us. The eye catching views of 108 Chortens (Stupas) are simply watch worthy. These chortens were built in as a memorial by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels (Assamese Separatist) in 2003 war of southern Bhutan.
We take up our journey for Paro Valley leaving behind the beautiful Dochula Pass. The road after Chuzom, where the rivers Paro Chhu and Wang Chhu meet, passes through the Rocky Mountains and moves along the side of river Paro. We get a pleasant ride on the highway and arrive at Paro passing through a spectacular mountain scenery en-route.
As our car takes the turn to enter into Paro town we see a plane making its descent for landing on the runways of Paro Airport, the only airport in Bhutan standing just ahead of Paro town, a beautiful building with a green helmet.
Our hotel locates on the edge of a hill above the valley. I enter into my room and notice the big windows. I open them and capture the magnificent views of Paro valley lying on the laps of surrounding Himalayan Mountains.
Reshmi, the hotel girl, knocks at my door and I turn towards her. She briefs me about the facilities in the hotel and I express to have understood the same. She returns back and I take a nice hot bath, change my dress and after a few minutes enter into the dining hall where Prakash is suggesting to visit Paro Dzong on this afternoon. Everyone is consenting to him and I raise my hand too.
Paro Dzong, also known as Rinpung Dzong, is the administrative seat of the district of Paro. We climb up the steep front stairs to reach at the top of the Dzong and look at the scenic beauty surrounding the monastery. We start capturing the memories in our camera. Slowly evening steps in and we walk down the road to Paro town.
Paro is small but one of the most beautiful town in Bhutan. We witness a stunning Himalayan views from here and a picturesque valley view from the uphill. We move around the stores in Paro town which offer us a good shopping forjewellery (made of precious stones), textile (mostly imported from Nepal and Bangladesh) and local handicrafts.
Tomorrow we will go to behold a paradise, the Takstang Monastery, another wonder of this world, for which human imagination remains mystified with the thought how it could have been built at that cliff.