Domendrel Tsho or Mandala.
Day hike to Domendrel Hike & Domendrel Mandala – A hidden lake & a spiritual mandala offering of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye above Tango Monastery is one of the best day trips under Thimphu Dzongkhag, which is located at an altitude of 4,048m, next to a small temple, lies the Domendrel Tsho. With an anxious feeling, we drive a car from Thimphu toward Dodena early in the morning to the base point of Tango Monastery and took about 5 hours (07:00 am – 12:00 pm) till the lake. The trail is relatively steep but rich in flora and one can get magnificent views of the capital city Thimphu. About, 1 hour before reaching the lake, the rocky hilltop with good weather and clear sky gives the opportunity of seeing the breathtaking views of Gasa Dzong and Punakha valley. The hilltop is gorgeous with breathtaking views with peaceful healing away from the regular hustle-bustle, making it ideal for meditation practices and its call peak of happiness.
The historical significance of Domendrel is not the lake but the stone stacked in a shape of a Chorten (stupa). This rock is believed to be a blessed mandala offering and is hence called Domendrel which literally translates to “Mandala Rock”. According to legend, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye has consecrated the ceremony on an auspicious time for his sister’s three years retreat tshokhor, during which he threw some grains into the air and the good fortune and tremendous auspiciousness are supposed to have mysteriously descended to his sister.
However, the Domendrel Tsho at the Mandala Offering became famous as the tragic incident in the lives of 6 young boys who went hiking and lost 2 of their friends to starvation. The six boys lost their ways after unknowingly infuriating the local deity by defiling the lake in 1996. They are said to have reached Punakha Dzongkhag and with due permission from their parents and families a movie of “6 Boys” film based on the true event.
There are two lakes (Lha Tsho) claimed to belong to Protector deities Pal Yeshey Goenpo, Tandin, and the palace of Nep Bak Yoepa, another protector deity of wakefulness and conscientiousness. So, if you are visiting Domendrel Tsho and Domendrel Mandala make sure to light some incense and offer milk into the lake for peace and prosperity in your life. The best time to hike of the year will be in autumn, but to experience different natures you can choose to hike during spring and summer as these seasons offer glandular views of mountains and spectacular views of rich flora and rhododendrons.
Towards the end of the day, we have hazardous that we have done during our hike to Domendrel Tsho and Domendrel stupa after offering Smoke (reowsangchoe), prayers, and getting the blessing.