“I am not beautiful. I am an artwork. I will make you feel something.”, says Chele La.
A perfect getaway from Paro valley in Bhutan, Chele La Pass is situated at an altitude of 3988 Mtrs. and is considered to be the highest point on Dantak Road in Bhutan. Now this information is something you can easily obtain from any website. Let’s not discuss this on my blog. I am here to tell you why beautiful is not an appropriate word for Chele La. I will call it an art piece instead. Most of my readers would disagree on the pretext that an artwork is supposed to be beautiful. All I can say is that my sagacity is broader than your imagination. And that is exactly the reason why you need to travel to this place!
Chele La is not just a Pass which connects Paro Valley to Haa Valley in Bhutan but is also a home to lots of prayer flags which are so widely stretched over from one mountain to another. If you ever travel to Bhutan, you should definitely travel to the Chele La Pass to notice the remarkable stretch of flags arranged in a specific order of blue, white, red, green and yellow which gives it an artistic touch. It isn’t a cliche ‘beautiful’ pass but is still remarkable in the way it is. You can also observe the same in the featured image of the Pass. Prayer flags are something which we came across at a lot of places in Bhutan but Chele La has a very spectacular view of the flags. If you are mindful, you will enjoy a walk into the flags and feel inspired with the aura of the place. After discussing the same with a bystander who was also a resident of the place, we were told that there are mostly two kinds of flags in Chele La: for the living and for the dead. However, if you research more on the flags, you will find out a variety of information on it which I cannot deliver in one blog post.
Why I made a decision to visit Chele La Pass?
I was not very happy with the warmth of Thimpu, Bhutan and was desperately waiting for the road trip to Paro, Bhutan which is just an hour away from Thimpu but is much more unruffled and quiescent. Chele La Pass is situated an hour away from Paro and the journey takes you through lush green forests spread over the mountains. It was suggested by a resident of Paro and so we hit the road. The roads have a lot of twists and turns and you may want to drive slow for your life. You will also get a clear view of Paro valley which in itself is so serene and green.
Things you may want to know:
- Chele La is a lot more chilly than Paro. You should definitely carry a hoody or a pullover if you want to stay at Chele La for the day.
- Drive to Haa. Haa is a small district of Bhutan which is only 30 minutes from Chele La. I could not visit Haa because I did not have the permit and the time but if you do, you may not want to miss a place just 30 mins away from yours. You never know the kind of stories which might be waiting for you.
- Don’t eat the noodles at Chele La. A big no. There is only one small shop-cum-car at Chele La Pass where you can buy some snacks from. But I would suggest to carry some of your own snacks. You can have a small picnic of your own.
- Feel like peeing? Sorry, no washroom there, just manage with the shrubs.
- View of the Jomolhari mountain. Chele La gives you a view of Jomolhari mountains which is commonly known as the the bride of Kungchenjunga but I did not find it very attractive about the place. Prayer flags, those were the thing for me.
- Chele La goes all white in winter. Yes, it snows here. I went to Chele La in June and it was still so chilly. Imagine the weather in winters.
Disclaimer: My experiences can be different from yours and so can be my opinions about the places I visit. Thank You. 🙂