Arriving in Mongar is a welcome respite from the seemingly endless turns of the journey over the Thrumshingla Pass. Mongar is a small town built on the side of a hill instead of next to the river on the falley floor like other towns in the kingdom.
The 18km detour up chirpine forests to the Drametse Goemba from the Thungdari(81km from Mongar) is insightful but provides a bumpy and dusty ride. The road has numerous long hairpin twists and turns till you reach the majestic mountain top from where you can see the faraway mountain ranges at par.
Drametse means ‘peak without enemy’ and offers you a panoramic view of villages of Ozorong, Kanglung, Yonphula, Rongthong, and Rangshikhar, all on the other side of the mountain across the Drangme chhu (Trashigang river). Drametse and the surrounding villages showcase ancient Bhutan and how people used to live in settlements not far away from each other but within range. Being on the top, Drametse sunrise and sunsets are spectacular and the scene overlooking the villages down the foot hills is breathtaking
Another sacred site in Mongar is the renowned Aja Ney. P ilgrims from all parts of Bhutan come together here to receive blessings and wash away their sins. A rock that bears 100 renditions of the sacred syllable “Aa,” is said to have been discovered by Guru Padmasambhava.