Thrumshing La

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Thrumshing La
Thrumshing La, view of road, Nov 2012.jpg
View of the road at Thrumshing La
Elevation 3,780 m (12,402 ft)
Location Ura Gewog, Bumthang District; Saling Gewog, Mongar District, Bhutan
Range Donga range
Coordinates 27°24′06″N90°59′47″E / 27.40167°N 90.99639°E / 27.40167; 90.99639 Coordinates: 27°24′06″N90°59′47″E / 27.40167°N 90.99639°E / 27.40167; 90.99639
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Location of Thrumshing La within Thrumshingla National Park, Bhutan
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Thrumshing La on the Lateral Road

Thrumshing La, also called Thrumshingla Pass and Donga Pass, (Dzongkha: ཁྲུམས་ཤིང་ལ་; Wylie: khrums-shing la; "Thrumshing Pass"), is the second-highest mountain pass in Bhutan, [1] connecting its central and eastern regions across the otherwise impregnable Donga range that has separated populations for centuries. [2] [3] [4] It is located on a bend of the Lateral Road at the border of Bumthang District (Ura Gewog, leaving Ura southbound) and Mongar District (Saling Gewog, toward Sengor), along the border with Lhuntse District to the east. The Lateral Road bisects Thrumshingla National Park, named after the pass. [5] The World Wildlife Fund also maintains operations in the park. [6]


Closures and hazards

The pass is often closed during winter due to heavy snowfall, shutting off land communication along the Lateral Road. [7] During road closures, commercial and public vehicles are prohibited from attempting Thrumshing La, however private vehicles may proceed at their own risk. Blockages at this high altitude must be cleared by both heavy equipment and manual labor. [8] At times, clearing crews have considerable difficulty even reaching the pass. [9] [10]

View from the pass Thrumshing La, view from road, Nov 2012.jpg
View from the pass

Along the pass, there are many sheer drops of thousands of feet at the roadside. [7] The terrain at the pass is barren and icy. At the highest point, travelers leave prayer flags in thanks for safe arrival to the pass. [2] In a matter of hours, eastbound travelers descend the pass southward along the Lateral Road from elevations of nearly 3,800 metres (12,500 ft) to just 650 metres (2,130 ft), transitioning from alpine forests into semi-tropical orange producing valleys. [7]

Thrumshingla Pass with snow Thrumshingla with snow.jpg
Thrumshingla Pass with snow

Because of the many nearby hazards and frequently dangerous conditions at Thrumshing La itself, the Government of Bhutan has approved and begun constructing a bypass to the Lateral Road as part of its Tenth Five Year Plan. The bypass will cut travel time, distance, and danger by avoiding Thrumshing La. The new route is expected to shorten travel time between Shingkhar village (Ura Gewog, Bumthang) and Gorgan (Menbi Gewog, Lhuntse) by 100 km and 3 hours. [11] The new road construction met with fierce opposition by environmentalists; the government has chosen to proceed with construction nonetheless. [12]

See also

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Wangdue Phodrang District District of Bhutan

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Bumthang District District of Bhutan

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Lhuntse District District of Bhutan

Lhuntse District is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. It consists of 2506 households. Located in the northeast, Lhuntse is one of the least developed dzhongkhags of Bhutan. There are few roads, the first gas station was opened in September 2005, electricity is not well distributed, and the difficult terrain makes distribution of social welfare problematic. Despite its favourable climate, farming is hindered by the lack of infrastructure.

Mongar District District of Bhutan

Mongar District is one of the 20 dzongkhags (districts) comprising Bhutan. Mongar is the fastest-developing dzongkhag in eastern Bhutan. A regional hospital has been constructed and the region is bustling with many economic activities. Mongar is noted for its lemon grass, a plant that can be used to produce an essential oil. It also has a hydroelectric power-plant on the Kuri Chhu river.

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Lhuntse Dzong

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The Kingdom of Bumthang was one of several small kingdoms within the territory of modern Bhutan before the first consolidation under Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1616. After initial consolidation, the Bumthang Kingdom became Bumthang Province, one of the nine Provinces of Bhutan. The region was roughly analogous to modern day Bumthang District. It was again consolidated into the modern Kingdom of Bhutan in 1907.

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Mountains of Bhutan Wikimedia list article

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  11. Palden, Tshering (2011-03-07). "Realignment to Start in 10th Plan". Kuensel online. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  12. Palden, Tshering (2011-08-25). "Government to Go Ahead". Kuensel online. Retrieved 2011-08-26.