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Label : Top Attraction

Tags : Historical Site

Timings : Summer:Monday - Friday: 5:30 AM - 6:30 PM,Saturday, Sunday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM,Winter: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : Foreigners (Except tariff payers): BTN 300,Students: BTN 150

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Thimphu Chorten

Memorial Chorten, Thimphu Overview

The Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten/ Memorial Stupa is one of the tallest monuments in Thimphu. Located in the southern central part of the city, in Doeboom Lam, the Stupa attracts tourists from all around the globe with its elegant architecture. The Chorten is a place that would give you an insight into Buddhism through its great artwork, wall carvings and marvellous sculptures. This ancient monument highlights Buddhist culture, serving as a great place to wander around while enjoying the aura of the site.

It was built in the honour of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third king of Bhutan and the father of modern Bhutan. It is adorned with statues and paintings dedicated to the king majesty. The architecture of this place is marvellous and is a highlight of the town. Overflowing with peace and serenity, the Thimphu Chorten is truly a wonder to watch.

Memorial Chorten Thimphu
Gateway to the Thimphu Chorten (Source)

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History of the Memorial Chorten

According to the Nyingma tradition, the Memorial Chorten of Thimphu was conceived by Thinley Norbu. It was later erected in 1974, on the orders of Ashi Phuentsho Choden Wangchuck, the queen mother of respectable Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It was a wish of his majesty to have had a chorten which could represent the mind of Buddha, hence it was built in the memory of Jigme Dorji. 

Being a prominent tourist landmark, the Chorten underwent an extensive renovation in 2008. Unlike other stupa's it doesn't enshrine human remains instead, it houses a photo of Druk Gyalpo in a ceremonial dress. 

Memorial Chorten Thimphu

Architecture of the Memorial Chorten

One of the most religious structures in the entire town, the Thimphu Chorten is constructed in a traditional Tibetan style. A golden spire caps the white coloured stupa. A beautiful and well-maintained garden in front of it adds to the charm of this iconic chorten. There are three slate carvings on the main gate of this three-storeyed chorten, and three Bodhisattvas are also erected on the front entrance.

These Bodhisattvas represent compassion (through Avalokiteshvara), knowledge (through Manjushri) and power (through Vajrapani). The giant prayer wheels at the main entry gate are striking because of their size and spinning them is quite an experience in itself.
Entrance to the Memorial Chorten Thimphu
Buddhist Imagery on the Main Gate of the Memorial Chorten (Source)

There are four shrines inside the chorten, each one of them having a unique picture of the king. Every floor has four shrines. There are wooden carvings of protective deities. Here, teachings from the Nyingmapa sect are preserved. There is an endless parade of third king’s pictures and a whole lot of information about him.

Deity inside Memorial Chorten Thimphu
Wood Carved Deity Inside the Memorial Chorten (Source)

Things to Do while at the Memorial Chorten

  • The gallery on the topmost floor offers spectacular views of the whole town of Thimphu. Walking along there and capturing the picturesque view in the camera frame is an amazing experience.
  • Take a round of the chorten in the clockwise direction. Whirl the large prayer wheels and enjoy the breathtaking view from there.
Prayer Wheels at the Memorial Chorten Thimphu
Prayer Wheels at the Thimphu Chorten (Source)

How To Reach Memorial Chorten

The National Folk Heritage Museum and Bhutan Post Office Headquarters are located nearby. After a visit at any of these places, the chorten can be visited in the evening. A cab can be hired to reach the Memorial Chorten or the surrounding attractions from any part of Thimphu.

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