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Chele La Pass

With an elevation of 3988 meters, the Chele La Pass lying between the valleys of Haa and Paro is the highest motorable road pass in Bhutan. Boasting incredible views of the high Himalayan Mountains, the Chele La Pass is an untouched sanctuary of immense panorama and thriving flora and fauna. From here, one can also witness the stunning vistas of Mount Jomolhari, considered as the most sacred peak of Bhutan at 6706 meters, Jichu Drake, as well as the majestic sights of the Tsherimgang Mountains. This high mountain pass welcomes and delights tourists with the mesmerizing sights of the rare White Poppy, found in the surrounding mountain slopes and the rainbow trouts, found in vast lakes of the region. The White Poppy is native to this region and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Located at distances of 35 km and 26 km from Paro and Haa respectively, the narrow pass tests the nerves of tourists with its numerous adrenaline inducing turns and sheer drops. Although the Chele La Pass can be reached by a two hour drive from Paro, the more adventurous option to reach this paradisiacal site is by a one day trek from the Haa Valley. This scenic trail takes one through verdant forests of rhododendrons, juniper, hemlock trees and breathtaking meadows adorned with yak herders.

Apart from these, one must cross the high passes of Ningula and Kungkarpo in this route as well as experience their spiritual awakening in Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple), Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) and numerous other monasteries, which can be found along the way. Home to many ancient and nerve-racking trekking trails and several bird species like the white-winged grosbeak, long crested monal and mountain finches among others, the Chele La Pass is a haven for trekkers and bird watchers. Adventure enthusiasts and experienced trekkers can also try the one day Chele La Ridge hike here, when the air is thin and the path is lined with thousands of prayer flags.