Photographer's Note

Visible proof of the deep religious devotion of the Bhutanese people are the innumerable picturesque temples and monasteries, chorten and mani walls, prayer wheels and prayer flags which decorate the villages and landscape, steep slopes and hill tops. Prayer flags still are erected, often in dangerously steep places, by the pious Bhutanese on advice of their family lamas at many occasions like births, deaths and other important family affairs.

On each pass like here at Thrumshing La, the highest motorable pass in Bhutan at 3750m on the road between Jakar and Mongar, there are true forests of prayer flags surrounding chortens or mani walls. Mani-walls are walls that support a number of stones carved with sacred formulas. You can see one on the picture above among the numerous prayer flags. These formulas are either those of the three protective Bodhisattvas (Chenrezi, Jampelyang and Chhana Dorje) or a simple prayer Om Mani Padme Hum, from which the name has been derived.

Thrumshing La is the door to eastern Bhutan. If the weather is good one is supposed to discover magnificent views on Gangkhar Puensum (7541m) from here. Note however that I went a few times during different trips and it was always in the clouds. So this fabulous view is just one of the many legends of Bhutan for me!

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Additional Photos by JM Hullot (vincz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2604 W: 77 N: 5252] (19113)
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