Jela Dzong Hike
Your hike starts from above national museum (2450m) after 20 minutes drive from the museum on unpaved farm road which connects to Damchena village (2880m). Your hike is all uphill climb through blue pine forest to mani chorten Dangrim (horizontal stone carved stupa) in the clearing known as Damche Gom (3020m).
Your trail leads through the forest of hemlock and rhododendrons. After 2 to 3 hours climb you will reach Jele Dzong (3560m) passing through the Jele la marked by a cairn at 3540m. After reaching Jele the view of Paro valley is spectacular including the 2nd highest mountain of Bhutan Jomolhari (7314m) and other snowcapped peaks on clear weather.
Jele Dzong sits on the hilltop overlooking Paro valley and it was the residence of lama Ngawang Chhogyel (1465 – 1540), the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kuenley (Divine Madman). The Zhabdrung(Unifier) is said to have meditated here and met with Bhutan’s protective deity Mahakala and guided him how to overcome invading Tibetan army.
Time: 3-4 Hours
Standard: easy to medium