A mountain pass is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. Since many of the world’s mountain ranges have presented formidable barriers to travel, passes have been important since before recorded history, and have played a key role in trade, war, and migration.
At lower elevations it may be called a hill pass. The highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world appears to be Mana Pass, located in the Himalayas on the border between India and Tibet.
Mountain passes make use of a gap, saddle or the low point in a ridge with a saddle point marking the highest point between two valleys and the lowest point along a ridge.
Passes are often found just above the source of a river, constituting a drainage divide. A pass may be very short, consisting of steep slopes to the top of the pass, or may be a valley many kilometers long, whose highest point might only be identifiable by surveying.
The valleys of Bhutan are linked by a series of passes between the Haa valley and Paro Valley is the Chele La mountain pass at a height of 3,988 meters which is the highest point on Bhutans’ roads. The mountain pass offers views of surrounding peaks and the Paro and Ha valleys.
In Western Bhutan, the Himalayas offer the traveler two such mountain passes, Dochula Pass and Chele La Pass, both entrenched in the spiritual. Whilst the former is decorated with over a hundred elegant chortens [memorial stupas] built by the queen mother as an expression of royal devotion, the latter is rugged and desolate, wrapped in fluttering prayer flags with Mount Jomolhari as a backdrop.
Chele La Pass, on the other hand, above Paro valley, is everything Dochula is not. Chele La is rough, raw and windy. It is also the highest pass crossed by a Bhutanese highway. Prayer flags in white, orange, and all the other rainbow colors drape the weathered rocks, tied by faithful devotees.
Mount Jomolhari or Chomolhari or Mountain of the Goddess, often also referred to as the bride of Kangchenjunga, straddles Tibet and Bhutan and forms the backdrop for Chele La. Ranked the 79th highest mountain in the world at 7,326 meters, its claim to fame has less to do with physical elevation, and more to do with its spiritual merits.
Chele La Mountain Pass – Bhutan Travel Video is ideal location for tourists to capture beautiful pictures of Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days.