The Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten or National Memorial Chorten, is one of the most prominent religious landmarks of Thimphu Bhutan with its golden spires and bells.
The Chorten is a stupa , located on Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of the city near the main roundabout and Indian military hospital. The stupa, built in 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is popularly known as “the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan”. It was consecrated by Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje.
This stupa is unlike others as it does not enshrine human remains. Only the Druk Gyalpo’s photo in a ceremonial dress adorns a hall in the ground floor. When he was alive, Jigme Dorji wanted to build “a chorten to represent the mind of the Buddha”.
The architecture of the chorten has been designed to present it as “one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu”. The Memorial Chorten, in the heart of the city, is designed is a Tibetan style chorten, also called the Jangchup Chorten, patterned on the design of a classical stupa, with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun.
The chorten is a large white structure with a golden spire crowning it and a smaller golden spire above the front porch. It is approached through a small garden and a gate decorated with three slate carvings. On the exterior of the gate are representations of the three protective bodhisattvas – Avalokiteśvara (the symbol of compassion), Mañjuśrī (the symbol of knowledge) and Vajrapāṇi, the symbol of power. On the interior are slates engraved with the image of Ngawang Namgyal, Gautama Buddha and Padmasambhava. Large prayer wheels are located to the left.
The Monlam Prayer Festival is held here when the Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) addresses and blesses those who congregate for the occasion.
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Timing to Visit Memorial Chorten
Visiting hours for all foreign visitors will be from 9AM – 5PM every day. Entry tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter at the Chorten.
Map Of Memorial Chorten
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