Cheri Gompa Monastery

(2850m) was first built in 1620 by Shabdrung and it was here that the central monastic body (Dratsang) was first established. Many of the important priests of Drukpa Kagyu lineage passed periods here, and so it is an important pilgrim site for Bhutanese. During the weekends, many Bhutanese are seen climbing up the hill from Dodena (2,600m), where the road ends. Cross a wooden cantilever bridge and climb up the hill with moss-laden pine, fir and rhododendron trees, that takes little over 1 hour. Return to the road. Instead of walking uphill from Dodena, one can make it more interesting by starting the walk from Pangri Zampa. Drive towards northern end of the valley for about ½ an hr and start an exciting walk to Cheri monastery. This is a 2-3 hours pleasant rural walk, gently up a valley through paddy fields and woodland via a Tibetan villages, following the Wangchu river-upstream till Dodena. Then walk uphill to Cheri Gompa. Return downhill, meet the transport and drive to Thimphu.